Are Online Medical Certificates Valid in Australia? | updoc

March 16, 2022

Dr Karina Palad, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Christopher Sim
Written by updoc's Editorial Team
Are Online Medical Certificates Valid in Australia? | updoc

Definitely. There’s no doubt about it.

But typically only by consulting with a registered Aussie Doctor through an established health software platforms such as updoc. They will assess your needs and determine if one is suitable.

And they’ve become a frequent choice for medical certificates in Australia generally these days, given long wait times and travel needed to get an appointment just for one in person.

Okay — so what circumstances need to be met to get one?

Essentially the same criteria need to be met as a traditional medical certificate — the only difference is that it isn’t face-to-face, rather it’s provided via a telehealth consultation.

Although there’s the word “tele” in the name, don’t let it mislead you — this consultation can take any form where communication occurs between the doctor and the patient, including text-based consultations.

What this means is that if you are wanting an added layer of convenience, some online services such as updoc provide a simple text-based consultation (as well as calls) where you can submit your health concerns via a short questionnaire in the same way you might in-person and simply wait for the doctor to review, and if suitable, provide you with a medical certificate or an outcome in line with your situation — practicing their patient duty of care in doing so.

Importantly, with good platforms, the consultation is solely between the Health Practitioner and the Patient — and the software platform enables this interaction seamlessly and securely.

So who can actually provide an online sick certificate?

When getting a medical certificate through an online service, it’s important to note that it must be provided by a Registered Australian Health Practitioner who is recognised by the relevant medical authority, such as the Medical Board of Australia — the regulatory agency for Australian Medical Practitioners.

Any Health Practitioner that uses updoc’s software platform to facilitate their consultations is guaranteed to be a Registered Australian Health Practitioner — there’s no risk of getting duped into fake medical certificates that you might experience elsewhere online.

And updoc has already helped facilitate over 100,000 consultations whereby the Partner Doctor deemed it suitable to provide a medical certificate online — helping Australians actually get the rest they need on their sick days rather than wading through a sea of traffic and dealing with waiting rooms and appointments.

Are many people getting online medical certificates nowadays?

Access to consultations with Practitioners who, if suitable, can provide online medical certificates, and online health more generally, saw a rapid surge in demand due to COVID-19 limiting the ability of Australians to visit traditional healthcare providers.

In fact, one study found that compared to pre-COVID levels, telehealth usage had increased 38x by 2021. Put another way, that’s a 3800% increase. That’s around 7 times more than what Bitcoin grew in 2020…

Once savvy Aussies started getting medical certificates online during COVID, they quickly realised three things:

  1. It’s far more convenient — if you’re in bed for whatever reason, physically or mentally needing the day off, you don’t need to leave as the initial consultation can be done from your mobile in minutes
  2. It’s far more accessibleone study found that telehealth improves healthcare access for all populations, but in particular those in areas where access to health services is more difficult
  3. It’s better value for money — rather than having to pay for a GP appointment, pay for travel to & from the GP or Pharmacist, and potentially still feel too bad to work another day, people have realised it’s far more convenient to just rest at home while a Partner Doctor reviews their consultation, and if suitable, provides a medical certificate

Believe it or not, there are more than 158,000,000 GP visits in Australia per year! Telehealth has an additional benefit of significantly reducing the burden on traditional healthcare, freeing up doctors to focus on quality of care, rather than quantity of care.

And common health problems are able to be sorted by a Partner Doctor through updoc, such as a common cold, the flu, period pains, migraines, gastro — just to name a small few.

Being an Aussie owned & run company, updoc understands the importance of helping our fellow Aussies out in times of need.

We also understand what it’s like to be in the queue at a doctor’s office just to get an outcome that confirms things you already knew about your health, just so you can get paid on what should be your day off. Being able to get access to Doctors who can assess your needs, and if suitable, provide medical certificates online helps Australians get the rest they need when they need it so they can get back on their feet and back to contributing in no time.

If you need to speak with a Partner Practitioner who, if suitable, can provide an online medical certificate, it’s a simple process through updoc:

📱 Head here

📝 Fill in a short form — it asks for key details about your issue

👨⚕️ Consult with your own Partner Doctor — they’ll take the medical information you provide and assess your needs within 24-48 hours

📥 If they find it to be suitable, your Partner Doctor will issue you a medical certificate to your inbox — you’ll receive an SMS and an e-mail with your medical certificate ready to download

It’s important to note that the independent Partner Doctor will read your health notes and make an informed decision on whether to provide you with a medical certificate or not. The Practitioner does not work for us, and we’ve created updoc to facilitate a convenient, ongoing connection with them.