x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

More than 700 specialist doctors now available on-line

Visitors to a new website can search for an appropriate doctor for their health issue among more than 700 medics from the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, who cover 58 specialities.

DUBAI // Patients can now book an appointment online with the private doctor of their choice.

Visitors to a new website can search for an appropriate doctor for their health issue by scrolling through sections on specialities or ailments.

The site, www.doktor-i.com, already has more than 700 doctors listed from the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, who cover 58 specialities.

Details provided on the site include what insurance coverage is offered by each doctor, where their clinic is, and what languages they speak.

Jorgen Ellingson, the cofounder of Portal Holdings, which owns the website, said: "It's amazing to see booking requests coming from as far away as Saudi Arabia for doctor appointments in Dubai."

As well as the convenience to the patient, he said, the new service also allows doctors, clinics and hospitals to attract more patients without expensive marketing.

At present, the site only covers doctors who work in the private sector, but that will hopefully change, Mr Ellingson said.

"We are in discussion with the Dubai Health Authority and with other health ministries," he said.

Once an appointment is booked, the patient and doctor both receive an e-mail and text message to say it has been requested and confirmed. A reminder is then sent the day before the appointment.

If there is a conflict in appointments or the doctor is not available at a time convenient to the patient, the clinic will contact them directly to rectify the situation.

The online service is free for patients and doctors. The site has been running as a trial for two months, and so far has booked about 50 appointments.

In the coming months, it will launch in Arabic, as well as adding doctors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, Mr Ellingson said.

hkhalaf@thenational.ae