SA doctors fear virtual consults could lead to legal disputes
56% of 512 doctors who answered a questionnaire by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) (representing 32 000 healthcare professionals in SA) agreed the benefits of telemedicine had been
unquestionable during Covid-19, and it would remain a fundamental tool in practice.
94% raised concerns about patients whose access to remote services may be impacted by factors such as digital literacy, disability, language, location or internet connection;
93% were concerned that if some patients felt excluded from telemedicine, this might result in a breakdown in the doctor/patient relationship, or conditions being left untreated;
95% were worried about missing something in a remote consultation;
and 79% were worried about a claim or investigation arising.
The society’s Dr Graham Howarth said a key concern for doctors is the potential for vulnerable patient groups to be left behind and for health inequalities to grow