Family doctors' advice helpline cannot issue repeat prescriptions ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Family doctors' advice hotline.
Family doctors' advice hotline. Source: ERR

More than 100 people have used the new family doctor helpline service during the first week with many callers asking for repeat prescriptions which cannot be issued by the service.

Currently, the service, a telephone hotline which is staffed by doctors and nurses, cannot issue repeat prescriptions or sick notes.

"If, for example, an asthmatic has come from Tartu to Tallinn and has forgotten his medication, we really cannot provide this help at the moment. At the moment, we have no way to issue a prescription," said Klarika Kallikorm-Rannamets, project manager at the family doctors' advice hotline.

Currently, as it is flu season, much of the advice callers need has been about viral infections and fever. 

ERR News reported at the weekend the staff at the hotline can now offer personalized advice and will have access to patients medical records if they are granted consent and it is authenticated with the Mobile ID or Smart-ID.

Personalized advice can only be obtained for the caller, as it is difficult to establish family relationships over the phone. 

Although a personalized advice line will record an illness in the digital log, it cannot be used later by a family doctor to issue a sick note over the weekend. 

Callers still have to go to the emergency department or seek emergency care at the weekend.

Personalized advice is provided in Estonian, English, and Russian, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 24/7 from Friday to Sunday.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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