MUSC to offer free virtual healthcare visits to federal employees during government shutdown

MUSC to offer free virtual healthcare visits to federal employees during government shutdown
MUSC is offering free virtual healthcare visits to South Carolina-based federal government employees affected by the shutdown.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina will offer online medical visits to all South Carolina-based federal government employees for the duration of the government shutdown.

The federal shutdown reached its 32nd day on Tuesday.

MUSC’s Virtual Care Program can address approximately 80 health issues, according to spokesperson Heather Woolwine.

Employees affected by the federal government shutdown and who need care are encouraged to use the promo code MUSCCARES4WORKERS to access virtual care services at http://www.muschealth.org/virtual-care.

No matter how old the patient is, MUSC Health Virtual Care is for non-emergency, non-life threatening conditions only, when the illness, injury or issue does not require an in-person visit, Woolwine said.

To use MUSC Health Virtual Care:

Go online, register and get an email confirming the registration. Then you see a form asking if you have a serious problem such as chest pain or excessive bleeding. If you do, you get a message saying Virtual Care is not right for you and you need to be seen by a doctor in person. If you don’t have a serious problem, you then see a list of categories, including:

  • Respiratory infections and allergies
  • Eye, ear and mouth problems
  • Skin and nail problems
  • Insect issues such as lice and tick bites
  • Medication to help you stop using tobacco
  • Stomach problems
  • Injuries and pain such as sunburn and lower back pain
  • Medication refills
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

If you choose one of those categories, you then get to decide if you want to do an online interview, which involves answering basic questions about your symptoms and uploading photos if needed; or a video visit that lets you see the doctor on your computer screen for a live consultation. Either way, at the end, if you need a prescription, you’ll get one.

All Virtual Care visits are handled by emergency department doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at MUSC Health. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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