Creating the new gay men’s health service: Hey Fella


Luke in a black shirt and Dr Cris in a blue shirt sit next to each other on a couch. They are the creators of the online health service Hey Fella.
Image: Supplied by Hey fella

QNews chats with Dr Cris Quitral and his partner Luke Fuller who have created Hey Fella, a revolutionary new online gay men’s health service.

Dr Cris Quitral, who is originally from Canada but moved to Queensland to study in 2011, was six years into his medical career in chaotic but rewarding emergency departments when he decided he needed a change.

“You’re constantly talking to people, sometimes on the worst day of their lives, but being able to help someone in that kind of situation is something that has always been a draw for me,” he told us. 

But during the pandemic, it began to have an impact on both Cris professionally and personally. 

“COVID changed the game. The pressures of it, the hours that people are waiting, and it just turned into something that I didn’t ultimately love anymore. So we decided to do something that I did love,” he says.

When he says, “we”, Cris is talking about his partner Luke, a software developer.  

The two realised, with their combined professional skills, they could develop something that could improve both their lives and the lives of our community. 

They worked on ideas and even soft-launched a telehealth service for the general public, but they were being drawn to something more personal to them. 

Developing Hey Fella for the gay community

Cris had spent his studying days volunteering and working for the gay and lesbian-friendly practice Gladstone Road Medical Centre so he knew that community and he was part of the community. 

Both he and Luke had noticed that many gay men they knew would often need quick, discreet and easy access to PrEP, STI screenings and prescriptions. This was something that general health services weren’t able to deliver easily. 

There were often delays in getting an appointment and some people would feel embarrassed about going to their regular GP for sexual health issues.  

Delaying access to services or treatment has the potential to cause bigger issues for the patient. This can put a further burden on health services and the pair saw an opportunity to solve this problem and do something they were both passionate about.

“We know that population because we are gay, and we have the ability to solve this and make it better,” Luke explains.

Building trust

Dr Cris said being part of the community and building trust is paramount in creating the best health service possible. 

“It’s so important for our community to have the ability to feel comfortable talking about your health because sexual health is health,” Cris says. 

“I think with a lot of new companies, it’s hard to trust them because you don’t know who they are. But the gay community is so open to talking about positive things that help them and help each other,” he continues.  

This is why the pair have been out at events to connect with people face-to-face to show they aren’t just any company wanting to target gay men’s health. 

“We really want to be embedded into the community, so we went to Brisbane Pride, we’re going to WA Pride, we’re going to be at Midsumma and we’re hopefully going to Sydney Mardi Gras,” Luke explains. 

Hey Fella services 

For those interested in Hey Fella, the services they offer are: 

  • PrEP online – Get daily or on-demand PrEP online with the option to receive your script via SMS to take to your local pharmacy or have it delivered to your door  
  • Online STI testingget an instant referral for STI testing at your local pathology clinic and if needed, it also includes a Doctor review and script for treatment 
  • Online prescriptions – if you’ve run out of medication and can’t go to your usual doctor
  • Doctor consultation – Health advice from an LGBTA doctor

The service is available Australia-wide, seven days a week and also ensures discreet billing. Those without Medicare are also able to access the service. 

Dr Cris does say, however, that telehealth isn’t a replacement for your GP but is something to work alongside your usual practice. 

“It’s not a solution for everything, but actually an option and the resolution for a lot of things,” he says. 

For any new patient wanting to sign up, simply visit the Hey Fella website (an app is on its way). Provide your details and select a time for a chat with an LGBTA doctor. It all takes less than two minutes

All consults are done over the phone with secure messaging and no video is required. 

Visit heyfella.com.au to start getting quick and easy access to services from Dr Cris and others.  

 

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, as well as community stories in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Dale Roberts

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. James Stewart
    22 November 2023
    Reply

    I have used Hey Fella and Dr Cris is great! Very easy to use – so much better than going to the clinic to get PrEP

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