There is nothing more inconvenient than feeling sick in the middle of the night when all you want to do is get a good night’s sleep. Not only is it very uncomfortable and untimely to feel terrible, but it is also troublesome to go even to the nearest hospital to get checked for a non-emergency problem. So, it is a good thing that a GP access after hours service is available in Australia. Now, a medical doctor can already check your urgent but not life-threatening condition in your own home. But how does GP access after hours services work?
GP access after hours: The concept
So, you may be wondering, ‘what is this GP access after hours services?’ and ‘how does it really work?’ The answers to these questions rely on the definition of having a home doctor service. This accepted medical health practice brings professional in-home medical care right to your door. This allows patients to call for the services of on-call board-certified medical doctors in cases whenever there is a need for an urgent but non-life-threatening condition. Typically, a patient in need of GP access after hours would call a hotline number, and a medically-trained call operator answers the call. He will then relay the information to the available on-call home doctor and within a few hours, expect his presence right at your doorstep to get you checked.
GP access after hours: The services
You can expect a typical GP access after hours services to be available every day after clinic hours. Most would start taking calls from 5:00 pm onwards. Their services will last until 8:00 am, when regular clinic hours often begin.
Upon calling the hotline number of a home doctor service, be sure that you have the necessary information about the patient and his condition. The common information needed during your call includes the patient’s name, date of birth, address, Medicare or DVA card, his regular doctor’s name and email address, and a brief description of his condition. This information is essential to better triage calls according to their needs (since you are not the only one requiring urgent medical attention) and it can also allow the GP access after hours services to relay the details about the whole home visit treatment to your family doctor.
GP access after hours: The benefits
Comfort guaranteed. No need to rush to the hospital for non-emergency but urgent medical care. You can get checked, treated, and advised in the comfort of your own home.
Patient traffic in hospitals eased. Because non-emergency conditions can now be assessed at home, there is no need to go to the hospitals. It helps ease patient congestion on emergency departments where only critical patients should get medical assistance.
Bulk-billed. Most GP access after hours services accept Medicare or DVA benefits as payment for their services. So as long as you are a Medicare or DVA card holder, you do not need to pay for an out-of-pocket charge for your home doctor services.
Continuity of care. GP access after hours services work hand-in-hand with regular family doctors in ensuring continuous healthcare management for the patient’s welfare by creating a report of the whole home visit and submitting it to the patient’s GP. There are also times when GPs would request for the services of a home doctor to assess his patients while he is away and unavailable. This ensures that urgent medical services are accessible whenever you need them.