How can I know whom to contact or how to get in touch with the doctor (Registered Medical Practitioner, RMP) on telemedicine?

Patient can contact any RMP of modern medicine duly registered with MCI/State Medical Councils; and if he/she agrees to provide a telemedicine consult, then it means mutual consent has been given.

I am old and unable to physically visit a hospital. I have a nurse taking care of my clinical condition. Can I ask my nurse to consult on my behalf and how can she enable me for a better consultation?

Definitely. Your nurse (duly trained and registered in Nursing Council) can consult on your behalf if you record your consent with the RMP for the same during tele-consultation. The RMP can request your Nurse to do routine clinical examination (for which your nurse is duly trained) and provide requisite information. The RMP can then provide health care advice, counselling and prescribe appropriate medications.

In case of an emergency, can I call any RMP for an immediate advice?

Yes, you may call any RMP for an advice for a medical emergency. However, you cannot insist for an advice if the RMP chooses not to reply or give any specific advice.

How would tele-consultation be useful in an emergency?

In case alternative care is not immediately feasible, tele-consultation might be the only way to provide timely care. In such situations, RMPs may provide consultation to their best judgement. Such services might be limited to first aid, life-saving measure, counselling and advice on referral. However, telemedicine should be avoided for emergency care to the possible extent specially when alternative in-person care is available.

Is an RMP entitled to charge for their consultation through telemedicine?

As per the guidelines, an RMP is authorized to charge a fee for a consultation and provide a receipt for the same. In case of Plum Tele-consultations, the fee is paid by Plum on your behalf.

Can an RMP refuse or discontinue tele-consultation at any point of time?

The guidelines allow a RMP to refuse or discontinue a tele-consultation, with due notice to the patient , during any time of the consultation process. Similar liberty has also been provided to the patients.

Are the prescriptions provided via teleconsultation legally valid and how do I ensure that the RMP is qualified for the prescription?

It is mandated in the guidelines that for all teleconsultations, the RMP should identify themselves and also mention/ display their MCI/State Medical Council registration number. Additionally, it is mandatory that the RMP issues prescriptions as per the specified format, which should have their digital signature and the registration number. The registration of the RMP can always be counterchecked, if desired, on the websites of relevant medical councils.

How do we know that our privacy is not breached by teleconsultation?

Guidelines have laid down strict norms for the RMPs to not breach the privacy of the patients in any form. However, the RMP cannot be held responsible if there is reasonable evidence to believe that patient’s privacy and confidentiality has been compromised by a technology breach or by a person other than RMP.

If I am on a follow-up care for a Chronic condition (say Diabetes), for how long can I continue to request for refill for my medications to my RMP?

The guidelines defines follow-up consultation for a maximum period of 6 months. After this period, an in-person consultation is mandatory.

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