How do I make a video consultation appointment with Dr Samuel ?
Patients can book in for a video consultation by either contacting us via phone or email via the contact page on our website. If you require the support of your local family doctor it's best that your doctor's staff contact our rooms to set up an appointment to ensure both doctors are scheduled.
How do I prepare for a video consultation?
1. Dr Samuel performs all video consultations using the free-to-download "Vsee messenger" application. Your username will be the email address you have supplied to our rooms on the above "new patient registration form". If video audio is poor, please ensure you are available on the telephone number that you supplied to the practice on your patient information sheet. If you are not connected at the time of your consultation, the practice staff or Dr Samuel will contact you within 20 minutes via the Vsee chat, email or telephone.
2. Please contact our rooms for fees for private telehealth services. Most consultations are eligible for a medicare rebate. If you are eligible for a bulk bill payment, at the end of your consultation the rooms staff will ask you to authorise your bulk bill payment (via email with your email address provided or by signature if in the doctors surgery). Please ensure we receive your response as soon as possible.
3. It is your choice to have a video consultation or "virtual appointment". Video consultations can help you avoid the travel required to see the doctor and save you time and money. Particularly during the COVID pandemic, they reduce the risk of potential viral transmission. They can happen in a place with privacy on:
a) your own desktop computer or laptop or tablet/ipad or smartphone
b) a family or friend's desktop computer or laptop or tablet/ipad or smartphone
c) your GP/doctor's surgery computer/laptop
Ask a friend or family for help or your family doctor/GP's practice if they support video consultations at their surgery. If so they may provide a nurse or doctor to sit with you during your consultation with Dr Samuel. If convenient you have video consultations with Dr Samuel in one of the Mayo private hospital video consult room, Taree. Please let my staff know if you do not have all requirements. They will help to suggest alternative arrangement or book you a standard face-to-face consultation.
What are the requirements for video consultation?
1) Computer ("Windows" or Apple Mac) or tablet (android or ipad) or smartphone (android or iphone) and
2) Video via a webcam or forward-face smartphone camera
3) Audio via a microphone with speakers/or headset or telephone (mobile or fixed near device)
4) Internet connection with upload speed: above 0.25 Mbps
5) "Vsee messenger" application/program (Free) installed on your device
6) Phone line, as a backup, in case of problems with audio
How do I install Vsee messenger?
Click on the green button above or below that says "Click here: to get free Vsee messenger."
Enter the email address you have supplied to Dr Samuel's rooms
You will then receive an email invitation to connect with you on VSee.
Follow the instruction in your email to accept Dr Samuel’s invitation and sign up for a free account.
Follow the instructions on the screen to download the application and complete the installation on the desktop, tablet or smartphone
Did not get the email? Try checking the spam folder or "click here" above to resend.
2) Click on "Vsee test call" to test your equipment (if not already done prior to your appointment)
3) When making a call ensure microphone is not on mute. Sign out and exit all video and instant messaging programs (i.e., Skype, Messenger, etc.) in order for Vsee to connect without conflicts.
4) Ensure you have a well-lit space so the doctor can see you. A quiet space will help reduce distractions. Headphones are not essential but they can give clearer audio and help protect your privacy.
How do I check my upload speed?
Go to: www.speedtest.net and click on "BEGIN TEST". Confirm your upload is > 0.25 Mbps (0.5 Mbps recommended)
What are the requirements for a medicare rebated service?
Please note that Dr Samuel's private practice charges fees for the telehealth services. Consultation fees are payable on the day. We accept cash, cheque, EFTPOS, Visa and MasterCard. While you may be eligible for a medicare rebate during our usual room consultations or via telehealth to a regional area, you may not be eligible if you are in the Sydney or another metropolitan area at the time of your consultation. If you are experiencing financial duress, please inform Dr Samuel's room's in advance or during your consultation. He runs a weekly free public hospital Crohn's and colitis/IBD clinic and you may be eligible for this service.
Patients may be eligible to receive medicare rebatable video consultations using the
i) Temporary Medicare COVID19 Telehealth Program (until September 30)
if you are :
a) living within Major Australian Cities, and
b) a holder of Commonwealth concession card holders
i) Medicare Rural Telehealth Program:
if you are :
a) located in an eligible regional, rural and remote area (ie ASGC-RRMA 2-5MBS) at the time of the consultation, namely outside of RA1! – Major Cities (ie if you are in the green zone during the consultation you can have a consultation but you will not be eligible for government medicare subsidy) OR,
b) a resident of an eligible Residential Aged Care Facilities OR
c) a patient of eligible Aboriginal Medical Service OR
2) you have a valid medicare or DVA card
3) you have a valid referral from an Australian doctor
4) you assign your right to a Medicare benefit to Dr Samuel via an Email or signed written agreement.
Note: You can check if your location is telehealth medicare eligible at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/health-workforce-locator/health-workforce-locator. Enter the address of the location you will be at during the consultation and click the box under Other remoteness classifications
Please note Gosford, Canberra, Sydney Inner and Outer Metropolitan are not eligible (namely all Australian Inner and Outer Metropolitan Areas ) for the medicare rural telehealth program; However, Wollongong, Toronto, Newcastle and Noosa are eligible
Why have a video consultation?
Video consultations allow patients to have a secure consultation using an internet-based video and audio platform. It will be the similar to seeing Dr Samuel for a consultation in our rooms without being physically present. Some of the benefits include:
- Bringing quality healthcare directly to the patient.
- Increased access to specialty services and second opinions for rural and isolated patients.
- Allowing the patient to stay in their own home or community rather than travelling.
- Allowing for other caregivers to participate in the consultation, including family or friends, teachers, youth workers, or home care staff who would otherwise not be free to travel.
- Reducing the time, cost and environmental consequences of travel.
- Reduces time for investigation, diagnosis and treatment through shorted waiting times for video consultations
Troubleshooting and FAQ:
a) Dr Samuel does not connect with you at the appointment time.
Every effort is made to keep to time. However, due to the nature of medical care and the technical nature of video consultations, this is not uncommon. If you have no contact within 20 minutes of your appointment please send an email to email@example.com. A new appointment can be made at another time if you are unable to wait or you might be contacted with a revised appointment time during the same session.
b) Video call quality is poor
If problems persist check the speed of your internet connection particularly if you have an ADSL connection. To do this click on "begin test" on www.speedtest.net and you get an download and upload result:
speed guide for UPLOAD (not download):
below 0.21 Mbps: unsatisfactory
above 0.25 Mbps: satisfactory
above 0.4Mbps: good enough
above 0.5Mbps: ideal for standard definition video
above 1.5Mbps: ideal for high definition video.
Skype can be used as a backup if Vsee is not working.
Upload speed is critical and download speed is usually not a concern. Since video conferencing involves two way interaction, and the upload speed on a "normal" ADSL connection is 6-10 times slower than the download speed, upload speed will often impact on the quality of video or audio or both. Even if your download speed is 1.5 Mbps but your
upload speed is 0.2Mbps, you will connect at 0.2Mbps or less. This is under the required 0.26 Mbps so you are ineligible unless you can get a better connection. One of the biggest challenges of the videoconsultation is even if one party has 6Mbps upload/download speed but the other has 0.2Mbps, we in theory could still travel the same speed on the internet.ie. Think of your ADSL connection as a private freeway on-ramp directly from your house to the freeway but the internet is the actual freeway. Your on-ramp will be free and clear however you have no control of the amount traffic on the actual freeway.
c) how can I improve my video quality
- Adjust your video resolution and frame rate. See https://help.vsee.com/kb/articles/adjust-video-resolution-and-frame-rate
- Consider upgrading your internet plan to a higher bandwidth.
- Use wired connection (LAN cable) instead of Wi-Fi.
- Move your device closer to the Wi-Fi hotspot or router.
- Consider upgrading your computer or mobile device especially if using older ones.
- Make sure you are not running other video conferencing software (e.g. Skype, Facetime) at the same time
- Ensure your webcam hardware is of good quality. Clean webcam lens from time to time.
- If working in an office, please have your IT team check https://vsee.com/firewall to see the port numbers to be opened.
c) Vsee messenger worked last time but now doesn't connect in the usual way
If it has worked before, try reapplying above either via the "click here: to get free Vsee messenger" so that you have an invitation from Dr Samuel to join, or try "click here: to reset Vsee messenger password" in case you have forgotten your password. Try a test call. On occasions when the system is overloaded with users, the management cancels accounts that were not introduced by a doctor. Make sure you are using "Vsee messenger". Dr Samuel uses "Vsee messenger" and NOT "VSee Clinic for Patient" which is different.
c) Plan B: despite all this, if Vsee messenger fails - using either Chrome (for a PC or android device) or Safari (for an apple device such as iMac, MacBook, iPad) - try opening this page (dougsamuel.com.au/video) or "Dr Samuel's Virtual consulting room" .
Web browser such as Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer may not work
Vsee messager provides a full featured video consultation experience. It works best when there is poor internet connections and allows the doctor to draw and share images and results more easily. However, if this is not working for you feel free to use plan B (the NSW health video conferencing platform using Pexip):