Can I Get A Medical Certificate Online In Australia?

March 12, 2022

Dr Karina Palad, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Christopher Sim
Written by updoc's Editorial Team
Can I Get A Medical Certificate Online In Australia?


Online medical certificates (also known as a sick note or doctor’s note) are considered a solid choice in Australia these days. They are common at school or university and in the workplace. Ensure you consult with an Australian Registered Practitioner online who can assess your needs and, if suitable, provide you with a medical certificate.

How many people get medical certificates provided by practitioners online?

Online medical certificates, and online health, more generally, saw a rapid surge in demand due to COVID-19, which has limited 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…

Why do people consult with a practitioner online to request medical certificates?

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 the comfort of your home 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 complicated.
  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 assesses their needs, and if suitable for their situation, sorts out their medical certificate.

In addition to convenience, there are other benefits to online medical certificate consultations. They also provide the flexibility to obtain certificates specifically for a single day or multi-day, catering to individuals who require short-term documentation. Additionally, these online certificates can be obtained for carer leave purposes, accommodating those who need to provide care and support for their loved ones.

Can medical certificates be backdated?

Under no circumstances should a medical certificate be backdated.

What about requesting a medical certificate for multiple days?

Yes, you can request up to seven days with multi-day medical certificates. However, it is up to the full discretion of your Partner Doctor to assess your symptoms and request to determine a suitable outcome, including, if applicable, the number of days needed for rest.

Are online medical certificates legal in Australia?

It’s a common question we get asked, “Are online medical certificates legit?” and the answer is simple. YES.

The only difference there should be between an online medical certificate and a traditional medical certificate is one is attained face-to-face, and the other is via a telehealth consultation with a doctor online.

So...I have to speak to a doctor via video call or video consultation for a Medical Certificate?

A medical certificate consultation starts with a text-based consultation request. This is then up to your Partner Practitioner's discretion for how they provide an outcome or if they need to call you for additional information. However, if you’ve specifically requested a telehealth consultation, a Partner Practitioner will call you.

With Updoc, your Partner Practitioner will assess and review your needs and, if suitable, deliver your medical certificate straight to your inbox and phone. No need to schedule an appointment, be stuck with long waiting times, or travel to the local GP. Request a consultation for a medical certificate from the comfort of your home.

How can I get a medical certificate online?

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

When will I receive my certificate?

On average, your request for a medical certificate consultation can be reviewed in an hour, and most users receive same-day certificates. In unlikely cases, due to unforeseen circumstances, it can take up to 24 hours.

When can I request a consultation?

You can request a consultation through updoc 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even on public holidays.

What else can updoc help with?

updoc also offers general online telehealth appointments where Partner Practitioners will review your request and, if suitable, give you a call to discuss your concerns and, if suitable, provide online prescriptions or medical advice. However, there may be some cases where you may be more suitable for a face-to-face consultation with your local GP – your Partner Practitioner can also advise you of this.

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 connection with them.