doctor writing in a medical certificate

Patients in 2020 have the benefit of accessing a medical certificate online, providing clarification for their employer that their sick leave entitlements are legitimate.

Yet this is a process that should not be taken for granted, creating some basic rules and protocols for all participants regardless of their age or position.

Here are 5 key process tips for patients organising a medical certificate online.


Tip 1: Organise Ahead of Time

Local patients should be aware that a doctor is under no obligation to hand over a medical certificate online. This can create added concern for participants who are under serious work pressure to receive the document. If there is any doubt about the validity of obtaining such a certificate, then it is important to book an appointment and ensure that the individual has possession of the item in time. There will be circumstances where a trusted and respected employer will afford the patient time to receive the clearance and hand it over, but the best operators will understand their obligation to their employer and take proactive action to cover their bases.


Tip 2: Ensure Details Are Explicit & Transparent

For an individual to be covered for sick leave entitlements, they will require a medical certificate online that ticks all of the necessary boxes. In these settings, the devil is very much in the detail, helping to clarify a number of key points that will be valid for the business. This will include an official form for the document, the name and address of the doctor and the practice, the date of the examination, an official signature from the doctor, the condition of the patient and their symptoms, how this condition will or has impacted on their work commitments and an expected recovery date. The online certificate can also be directly addressed to the employer, but this detail will usually be left open-ended, commonly beginning with: ‘to whom it may concern.’


Tip 3: Only Receive Certificate From Certified Medical Practitioner

In 2020, there will be plenty of websites who will offer a ‘pay to play’ scheme whereby a medical certificate online can be obtained for a fee. These unofficial operators don’t provide the legal certification necessary to be cleared, creating all types of problems for the employee who opts for a convenient back channel rather than doing their due diligence. Questions about legitimacy will be asked and there is every chance that an employee can be sacked if they do not adhere to their responsibility with an authentic certificate obtained by a real medical practice.


Tip 4: Understanding Online Etiquette & Procedure

For many outlets who provide a medical certificate online, there can be some intricacies around how applications for such a document work, how long they take to process and how they work in conjunction with a physical appointment. Unless the doctor has seen the patient and provided an official diagnoses, then they won’t be in a position to sign off on such an exercise. By speaking with the doctor or the reception desk, individuals will be able to understand what website they should engage, how the process works and how soon they can receive the item before passing it over to their employer.


Tip 5: Secure a Physical & Digital Copy

Although it will be convenient to secure a medical certificate online that can be shared on mobile phones, desktops, laptops and tablets, a patient should have a physical document on hand. This will help their own record keeping, ensuring that they have a paper trail in the event that the human resources department asks for clarification. It can also be beneficial in the rare event that a medical online portal shuts down, creating a logistical hassle that could be avoided with a tangible copy available.


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