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Updated 12 November 2013

New website improves access to healthcare

RecoMed takes the pain out of finding and booking a doctor appointment. After filtering for suburb and specialty a patient can instantly book an appointment with their doctor of choice, for free.

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For most South Africans, finding a new doctor that is competent, caring and close by is very difficult. Asking around often proves pointless; online directories only supply contact details and doctors with practice websites aren’t necessarily great doctors. In fact, with online reviews and recommendations, there’s far more transparency in the restaurant business than there is in the medical industry.

And even when a patient decides to take the leap of faith - getting an appointment can prove tedious and frustrating. Remember when one had to phone several travel agencies just to book a flight? It often took longer to book the flight than it did to actually fly to the destination. And yet that’s still how most South Africans book doctors appointments today.

Only recently, have sites like RecoMed hit our shores. Modelled on systems used in America and Europe, RecoMed quite literally takes the pain out of finding and booking a doctor appointment. After filtering for suburb and specialty a patient can instantly book an appointment with their doctor of choice. This service is available 24 hours a day and is completely free.

This is an important step toward transparency. Not only can patients see the practices’ location, opening hours, the doctors’ qualifications or even languages spoken but after attending appointments patients can post reviews of their experiences for others to read. Users can now compare practitioners and make informed decisions without the need to rummage through different forums and practice web pages.

The arrival of RecoMed is part of a powerful trend. Recently, South Africans have seen a number of convenient booking services pop up: Restaurant tables can be booked online via services like Table Magic (www.tablemagic.co.za) and transport can be arranged via companies like Uber (www.uber.com).

Ev Williams, founder of Twitter summarizes it well: “We often think the Internet enables you to do new things. But people just want to do the same things they’ve always done. The Internet makes human desires more easily attainable. In other words, it offers convenience.”

About RecoMed

RecoMed (www.recomed.co.za) was founded in 2013 with the mission to improve access to healthcare. With RecoMed, patients can search for doctors and instantly book appointments online. There are 4000+ medical specialists on RecoMed and thousands of people use RecoMed to find a doctor or dentist each month.

(Woman working on laptop from Shutterstock)

 
 
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