Health & Wellbeing

New, free online GP service launches for Australian women planning for pregnancy

A new online service has launched to provide women (and men too) with real-time access to Australian qualified GPs to answer their preconception care questions and complement face to face GP interactions.

What’s the significance? 

With a third of women aged 25-44 (32%)1 acknowledging they don’t have enough time to attend health checks or appointments ‘Ask a Doctor’ will help make preconception care more accessible to women and we know that only one in two (50%) of women are having preconception care conversations with their GP. 

Yet clinical evidence supports the role of preconception care in having positive effects on both mother and baby. By having regular conversations with a healthcare professional on everything from managing stress, pre-existing conditions, nutrition and mental health, mothers can be assured that they are supporting their baby’s health from the moment of conception.

A timely addition to the telehealth scene 

The launch of ‘Ask a Doctor’ comes at a time where telehealth has recently become a permanent feature in Australia’s healthcare with significant investment from the Government. Since early March 2020 more than 86.3 million COVID-19 MBS telehealth services have been delivered to 16.1 million patients.2

According to clinical expert Dr Preeya Alexander (GP with special interest in women’s health), “while we know that a healthy baby starts even before conception, the fact is that only one in two Australian women are currently having preconception care conversations with their GP. In my own clinic I find that a lot of women are not aware of preconception care, the notion of optimising health before conception even occurs, but preconception care can significantly and positively change the outcomes for both Mum and baby during pregnancy.

For instance, we can address and optimise health issues such as asthma and diabetes prior to conception to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, we can review medications to ensure we avoid problematic ones for foetal development and the list goes on. Preconception care is just so important, and it is devastating that so many Australian women are still missing out,” said Dr Alexander. 

“Delayed GP access contributes to the challenge but that’s the beauty of the provision of digital health – we can greatly enhance preconception education and communication between women and GPs. By providing easy online access to reliable, expert advice about preparing the body for pregnancy, women are better equipped to make informed choices based on professional medical advice and guidance,” she added. 

About the service

Ultimately, this service aims to raise awareness for women of the importance of having an early conversation with a GP prior to pregnancy. By providing easy online access to reliable, expert advice about preparing the body for pregnancy, women are equipped to make choices based on professional medical advice and guidance. 

The fast and free service recognises that many Australian women in the planning and early pregnancy stage are busy and time poor and promises a guaranteed response within 2 minutes during operating hours (9am-5pm AET), along with the option to upload images and documents as part of their query.

‘Ask a Doctor’ which is accessible via, is staffed by Australian qualified GPs from the independent provider Meeting Doctors.