When contagious diseases are spreading, doctors’ offices can become overcrowded and patients are reluctant to go there out of fear of infection. During the current Coronavirus outbreak, people are told to stay at home and avoid contact with people outside their homes. But they still need to consult their doctors, or get prescriptions.
The Austrian national health insurance has lifted restrictions and enabled new forms of doctor-patient contact for the time of the pandemic. Consultations via video-call are now possible and patients can call their doctors to email prescriptions directly to the pharmacy. This way, direct personal contact is reduced, which is especially important for people with preexisting conditions which are making them more vulnerable to the virus.
This practice was started by the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK).