Cutting edge telemedicine venture freezes as official bodies frown

Chris Bateman


Hello Doctor, a new telemedicine business providing cheap, accessible health information and advice, put its call centre on ice last month after the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) said it was violating patient rights.

The CEO of the new venture, Andrew Milne, said the freeze was a precautionary move ‘to protect clients and our doctors from being exposed to any issues that might arise from the uncertainty the HPCSA has created’. Annoyed at what appeared to be knee-jerk condemnation by the HPCSA based on ‘superficial and incorrect’ press reports and their not having bothered to contact his company, Milne said the new service actually extended patient rights and filled a vital access and affordability gap, wholly in line with national health care priorities (preventive and primary health). He claimed it was comprehensively researched and met all ethical criteria.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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telemedicine, call centre, HPCSA

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(6):368,372.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-05-09
Date published: 2011-05-25

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