Terms and Conditions of Online Doctor

The Online Doctor service is provided to you on behalf of Vhi by HealthHero Healthcare Ireland Ltd, registered Company No. 670586. The health professionals contracted to HealthHero Healthcare Ireland Ltd are registered with the Irish Medical Council

These Terms and Conditions should be read alongside our Privacy Policy.

Please read the Privacy Policy carefully as it contains important information on who we are and how and why we collect, store, use and share your personal information.

It also explains your rights in relation to your personal information and how to contact us or supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.

Scope of Service


Online Doctor is available from 7.30am to 10:00pm, Irish Standard Time, 7 days a week, excluding Christmas Day.

Medical Terms of Service


Not all the services described below may be available to you. You will only be entitled to those we have agreed to provide on behalf of Vhi Health and Wellbeing DAC who has given you access to our services.

Only members of Vhi Healthcare are eligible to use our services.

We do not undertake the clinical triage of any presented symptoms or conditions disclosed to us electronically or by telephone prior to a consultation with a health professional. Therefore, you must not use the Online Doctor service for emergencies or urgent conditions, such as (but not limited to) those listed below, as this may delay necessary treatment.

  • has severe difficulty or are not breathing
  • is having a heart attack or stroke
  • has severe chest pain
  • has severe abdominal pain
  • has severe bleeding
  • has lost consciousness
  • is in an acute confused state and/or is having fits which aren’t stopping
  • is in suicidal distress

The service is not a replacement for your own GP. You may still need to see your own GP or contact the emergency services.  If, in the course of a consultation, the clinician determines there is imminent risk due to a medical condition, they will encourage you to, and / or take action to, activate emergency services.

Where the clinician suspects there is a risk of harm to yourself or others, they will act in accordance of law and notify appropriate authorities

Pregnant Patients


We may not be able to provide a full service if you suspect you may be or are pregnant. HealthHero has defined the duration of pregnancy to be from conception to 8 weeks post-delivery.

If you are pregnant and book a consultation, we will complete that consultation and the GP will use their professional judgement when assessing next steps.

HealthHero’s policy is that we should not provide medical advice or diagnosis for conditions that may be impacted or influenced by the fact you are pregnant. For the avoidance of doubt, and where this is the case, our policy is to signpost you back to your own GP or maternity care provider by default, as pregnancy impacts on many conditions for which a telemedicine service is not well suited to make a safe diagnosis or offer treatment, including advice.

It is also our policy that should you declare to us that you are pregnant or have had a positive pregnancy test, we will signpost you to a local GP or maternity care provider to arrange a ‘booking visit’ and antenatal care if you have not already done so.

Your Responsibilities


The clinician does not have access to your full medical records and therefore any advice or treatment options given are based on information you provide during the consultation.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any information you provide is honest, accurate and lawful. If you choose to withhold relevant information from the clinician, it could affect care they are able to give and they may not be able to provide additional services to you, such as medical prescriptions, referral letters or medical certificates.

HealthHero and the consulting clinician cannot be held responsible should the information you provide be inaccurate or incomplete.

We are not responsible for your routine or ongoing care, so it is in your best interests that if the clinician asks for permission to share information regarding the consultation with your own GP, that you agree. Should you not give us consent to do so, please be aware that the clinician may feel that it is not safe to proceed with any treatment or referral options discussed.

Images and Documents


Providing images or relevant documents can, where appropriate, help the consulting clinician to make a diagnosis. Should our patient care team think it would be helpful, they will send you an email with instructions on how to provide them.

Photographs of an intimate nature must not be sent to us. Please do not send any images of areas of the body which would normally be covered by a bikini or swimming trunks.

Please be aware that the quality of any images or documents you send may not permit a diagnosis and that any you provide are for the sole purpose of the consultation.

Images and Documents sent to us will be processed and stored in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


Preparing for your consultation

At the time of your consultation, you should ensure you are somewhere private. You must not be driving or using any machinery which means you cannot give the doctor your full attention.

The clinician will terminate the consultation if they feel you are putting yourself at risk.

General Terms of Service

Appointment Booking


Appointments can only be booked through Online Doctor on the Vhi Health Assistant app.

Cover for the Service


Your Vhi Private medical insurance policy, Employee Extras entitlement or your International Private medical insurance policy, provides details of your cover and any plan limits. If you exceed a plan limit or if your policy does not include this cover, you will be charged for the Service. You will be notified of the charge prior to booking.

Payment processing services are provided by Stripe and will be subject to its terms of use (https://stripe.com/payment-terms/legal) and privacy policy (https://stripe.com/gb/privacy).

By inputting payment details, you are consenting to the payment details being processed by Stripe. When you provide payment details, you must have the appropriate authority to use your chosen payment method. If you have any questions relating to these Services, please contact Stripe at privacy@stripe.com.

You agree to HealthHero, through their payment intermediary Stripe, pre-authorising your debit card, credit card or digital wallet (“your card”) with the charge for the service. Your card or wallet will be charged after your consultation. Failure of the pre-authorisation process will prevent the service being booked. Any unpaid balance shall become payable within seven (7) days of completion of your appointment.

Cancellation and Refunds


If you cancel your booking prior to your consultation the payment pre-authorisation will be cancelled, and no charge applied.

If you are unhappy with the consultation contact OnlineDoctor@healthhero.com to request a review of the consultation and any associated charge.

Online Services


The availability of our online services cannot be guaranteed as mobile data and internet connections are controlled by third parties with whom HealthHero has no direct relationship or contract.

If the content of any electronic communication you send to us is inappropriate and/or abusive we will take whatever action is appropriate, including reporting the incident to Vhi Health and Wellbeing DAC, who provides you with access to our services through the Vhi Health Assistant app and if required to do so by law, to the relevant law enforcement authorities. We do not tolerate any abuse of our staff in any form.

Video Consultations


When a video appointment is confirmed we will send you an email with a link to access the service. Very occasionally, email systems can experience delays outside our control. Your upcoming appointment details are also available to view on the Vhi Health Assistant app.  You will also receive notification on your phone when the consultation is due to commence if you have granted permission to do so.

Should a video consultation not be possible for any reason, the clinician will initiate or attempt to continue the consultation over the telephone.

The clinician reserves the right to terminate the video consultation in the event of any inappropriate behaviour.

Telephone Services


Video consultation is the primary channel for providing Online Doctor consultations.  In the event where a video consultation cannot proceed due to technical or other issues, the clinician will attempt to continue the consultation via telephone. If this occurs, where possible, we recommend that you use a land line for a telephone consultation as mobile reception quality is often variable. If you have call barring set up on your phone, we recommend using a different line as it is possible that your service provider could block the clinician’s call to you.

Private Medical Prescription Service


If this service is available to you, the diagnosing clinician can offer you a private prescription where they feel that prescription medication could assist you in treating your symptoms.

Private prescriptions will only be raised:

  • If you are located in the Republic of Ireland
  • At the sole discretion of the clinician
  • During a telephone or video consultation
  • If it is safe, clinically appropriate and in your best interests
  • If it complies with our prescribing policy

Please be aware that some medications cannot be prescribed remotely, and the clinician will advise you if they are unable to do so.

In the absence of possession and knowledge of your medical records and follow up care, except for the contraceptive pill in the Republic of Ireland, the service is not suitable for issuing repeat prescriptions.

If you are unable to satisfactorily answer the clinician’s questions, then they may not be able to raise a private prescription.

Medical Prescription Fulfilment


Our clinicians can only issue private medical prescriptions, so please be aware that Medical Card, Long Term Illness Scheme and the Health Amendment Act Card prescriptions do not apply, and any costs associated with fulfilment will be met by you.

HealthHero does not charge for issuing private medical prescriptions, but in choosing to have it fulfilled, you will be entering a contract with a pharmacy outside of the control of HealthHero. Fulfilling a private medical prescription is at the sole discretion of the dispensing pharmacist and HealthHero is not responsible for any refusal to dispense.

The clinician will automatically offer you the option(s) below to which you are entitled.

Local Pharmacy Collection


For patients in the Republic of Ireland, if it is an option made available to you by the clinician, we will ask you to nominate a local pharmacy to fulfil the medical prescription.

We will send the private prescription directly to the pharmacy and you will receive a notification on your phone that the prescription has been sent to the pharmacy. We will also contact you to advise when it is ready for collection.

Please be aware that we will have no knowledge or control over the pharmacy charges for fulfilling the private medical prescription.

Electronic prescriptions


In certain exceptional circumstances, we may offer you a digitally secure medical prescription by email for a nominated pharmacy.

You must present this to your nominated pharmacy, acting as the intermediary between us and them, unaltered and with the instructions included in the email you receive with the prescription. Fulfilling an electronic prescription is at the sole discretion of the dispensing pharmacist you present it to, and HealthHero is not responsible for any refusal to dispense.

When choosing to receive an electronic prescription, please be aware that we will have no knowledge or control over the pharmacy fulfilment charges.

We are unable to provide a prescription outside of the Republic of Ireland.

Referral Letters


Should the clinician feel it necessary, they can provide you with an open referral letter to a:

  • Public hospital emergency department or
  • Private or public consultant in the stated speciality.

Please note you will be charged for a private consultation subject to your policy benefits.

Referral letters will be available to view through Online Doctor on the Vhi Health Assistant app or can be posted or emailed directly to you on request.

We are unable to provide referral letters for consultations and / or departments outside of the Republic of Ireland

Medical Certificates


If it is clinically appropriate, the clinician can issue a medical certificate.

HealthHero does not charge for issuing medical certificates, but you will need to check with your employer to confirm that they will accept one.

Medical certificates cannot be used to access state funded sick pay or benefits (social welfare payment). You can only get a Social Welfare Certificate from your GP.

Medical certificates will be available to view through Online Doctor on the Vhi Health Assistant app or can be posted or emailed directly to you on request.

Accessing Consultation Notes


Following your consultation with a GP online you will be issued with a Consultation report and, if clinically appropriate, the following documentation:

  • Medical certificate
  • Referral letter

The information contained in these documents are fully encrypted and will be made available to your device from the HealthHero platform. These documents do not pass through the Vhi enterprise and Vhi cannot access the content of these documents. You should ensure that any device you use to access your post consultation notes is suitably protected from potential interception.

Consultations notes for a child under 16 are available only to the parent or legal guardian.

Concerns and Complaints


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction either written or verbal that requires a response, which can be made by letter, by email or by telephone.

Should you wish to make a complaint or would like to raise a concern you can do so by contacting HealthHero directly on the telephone number you have been given to access the service or by writing to HealthHero as follows;

The Complaints Manager
HealthHero Healthcare Ireland Ltd
3 Terenure Road West
Dublin 6W
D6W YY79

Alternatively, you can e-mail your concerns directly to our Patient Care Team at complaints.epc@healthhero.com..

You will be notified as soon as we receive your complaint or concern, we will then be in touch as we deal with your complaint according to our complaints procedure.

An acknowledgment letter or email will be sent within 5 working days to you following receipt of a complaint notifying you as to the proposed time scale to receive a response.

HealthHero will make reasonable endeavours to provide a full response to you within 30 days following receipt of a complaint.

Limitation on Liability


Nothing herein excludes or limits our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or for any other liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law. Nothing herein shall affect your statutory rights.

Except as may be expressly set out in these terms, all conditions, representations, and warranties relating to the service are excluded to the maximum extent permitted by law.

We shall not be liable for any defects or errors in the services, nor interruptions in or unavailability of the services, nor any breach of any obligations due to a cause beyond our reasonable control.

When using our services, except to the extent permitted by law, we shall not be liable for:

  • any loss, damage or distress incurred by you arising from reliance on information or the availability of the services; or
  • any indirect, consequential, or economic loss, damage or distress incurred by you (including any such loss, damage or distress arising from unauthorised use of or damage to your data or content); or
  • any consequential loss, damage or distress incurred by you arising from where you have not provided us with a full and accurate medical history or where you withhold any relevant information; or
  • any loss, damage or distress arising from use or attempted use of the services for emergency or urgent conditions or any consequential delays to necessary treatment.

Our total liability to you in connection with the services whether under contract, tort, statute, common law or otherwise (and including for negligence or wilful default) shall not in any circumstances exceed stg£500,000.

Applicable Law


For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of our services shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the laws of Ireland and each of the Parties submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts.

Correct as of 13th September 2021 and subject to change.