How to get online medical certificate in Australia for work

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You woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose, and your whole body aches. ‘There’s no way I’m going to make it to work today,’ you think. Your next thought? “Oh my goodness, I’ll probably have to go to a medical center so I can get a medical clearance.”

It’s really not ideal. The day you take off should give you enough time to recharge and rest so that you’ll hopefully be ready for work the next day. Or the day after. You shouldn’t waste this rest time waiting at the medical center for a note giving you permission to rest.

Doctors notice Updoc
Image: Getty Images

Lucky for you, we found a way to avoid getting the note: Updoc. Launched just over a year ago, the platform can usually issue you with a medical certificate through a partner doctor registered in Australia within an hour and without an appointment.

“All of our certificates are valid documents and meet all the requirements of the Fair Works Act 2009, which requires satisfactory evidence that the employee was actually entitled to sick or carer’s leave,” states Updoc’s website. “Employers can validate the authenticity of certificates through the employer verification section of the website.”

The way it works is that you fill out a short form explaining your symptoms and, in general, why you are not feeling so well. Then, usually within the hour, an independent, registered Australian partner doctor will review the form and, if approved, email you a medical certificate.

“I found that whenever I was sick I had to make an appointment, which I often couldn’t get since most doctors can only treat a limited number of people per week,” says Updoc co-founder Dylan Coyne, previously product manager at a number of technology companies.

“Then I had to travel sick, if I could get a doctor at all, wait in an awkward consulting room, tell a GP, ‘I’m sick and need a doctor’s note for work,’ and then drive home after getting paid.”

Coyne says he and co-founder Clifton Hodgkinson have spoken to hundreds of physicians and found that they are often burdened with administrative decision-making and are unable to focus on actually making effective clinical decisions.

“This keeps so many patients in Australia inaccessible to healthcare,” says Coyne.

Hodgkinson, a psychology graduate from rural Queensland and a former Canva and Uber employee, says the software enables partner physicians — registered Australian healthcare practitioners who offer their own independent consultations through the platform — to make effective clinical decisions in a streamlined digital environment hold true.

“We have developed software that enables proper clinical decision making without all the stress and wasted time that comes with an in-person consultation,” says Hodgkinson.

While you can access 24/7 telemedical, text-based consultations with registered Australian partner doctors for a free subscription to Updoc, requesting a medical certificate costs $14.95. If the partner doctor decides that it is not appropriate to issue you with a medical certificate, Updoc will refund you in full.

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