25 Feb 2015

We book everything from hotels and flights to restaurants online. Now Queenslanders are booking their doctors’ appointments online too.  According to a recent survey by HealthEngine, Australia’s largest medical appointment online booking system, the number of Queensland patients using online booking services for General Practitioners (GPs) grew a massive 400 per cent from 2013 to 2014¹.

Queenslanders who took the survey said that the convenience of booking their doctors’ appointments online, anytime of the day or night and from anywhere, is the key factor driving them online. Gone are the days of waiting until the local clinic opens to call for an appointment, only to find out that the first available slot is days away.

According to the survey, 74 per cent of all bookings are made out of office hours², over 40 per cent are made in the evenings between 9pm and 2am³ and 15 per cent of those are booked between midnight and 1am⁴. The survey also revealed that fifty per cent of all online bookings are made using a mobile device⁵.

Interestingly, more than 1 in 3 (36%) online bookings for GP appointments are made on Sundays and Mondays⁶ and online booking services are most commonly used by women with more than 68 per cent of users being female⁷.

HealthEngine CEO and Medical Director, Dr Marcus Tan, said the high percentage of females using the service could be put down to the fact that women are often the primary caregivers in families. “Nobody chooses when they or their family members get sick. HealthEngine is a service that is available 24/7, making it easy and fast to find and book an appointment to see a doctor.”

Julie Jones from Mermaid Beach is a shift worker and uses the App to book GP appointments in the middle of the night. “If I am at work and I start to feel ill, I can book an appointment for the following afternoon which saves me waking up in the morning to contact the clinic. It gives me peace of mind to know I have the appointment and I get my sleep after working nightshift.”

Yvonne Marie De Sousa’s regular GP clinic is in Burpengary but she works in Redcliffe. “If I’m at work and need to go to the doctor urgently, I just book an appointment online for the closest clinic and duck out in my lunch hour. I find it difficult to make a call from work and uncomfortable to talk to a receptionist about my reason for visiting the doctor when everyone can hear my phone conversation. Booking online gives me privacy and I can still inform the clinic about the reason for my visit.”

Dr Tan said, “The service is particularly convenient if a patient requires an urgent appointment, their regular doctor is booked out or they are new to a suburb and not sure where the closest GP, dentist or healthcare professional is located.”

The online service is easy to use – simply type in a suburb or postcode to reveal a list of doctors’ appointments at clinics in the surrounding area. Also Australia’s leading health directory, it lists GPs, dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, psychologists, medical specialists, pharmacists and optometrists as well as other health services.

Dr Tan said, “HealthEngine recognises that consumers want a trustworthy online booking service that they can rely on at any time of the day. It empowers people to find and book an appointment that suits them, at a time when they need peace of mind most.”

Download the HealthEngine App for Android or iOS or book an appointment online today by visiting www.healthengine.com.au.