Now I've heard everything. Doctors in France are to offer medical services via webcam or instant messenger! A government decree authorising the online consultations has been published in the Journal Officiel. Health Minister Rosalyne Bachelot believes online surgeries will offer much needed support for rural areas where there is a shortage of doctors. Patients would log in to a secure website where a doctor will ask them a series of questions.
But it seems some doctors have their doubts. One doctor in Brittany told Le Telegramme that, although medical advice has long been given to known patients over the phone, that is not a consultation. No indeed. He explained that a consultation isn't just an exchange of information, it requires a physical exam. Well yes. You need to listen to a patient's breathing, for instance, without which an incorrect diagnosis is likely. I'd have thought there were other dangers too. I have found that French doctors don't recognise my English first name as feminine, so what's next? My being diagnosed with prostate problems?
And Him indoors? Don't ask. He says he's just waiting for the time when all medical consultations are over the phone: If you've got a bad leg, press 1; if you've got something unmentionable, press 2......