After-hours, home-visiting doctors: What to expect when you call 13SICK

Mum with hand on sick baby's head

Did you know that when your GP is closed and your child is sick after hours, there’s a much better alternative to the hospital emergency department? It’s called 13SICK – a network of after hours doctors – who come to you. If you’ve never used the service before, here’s a cheat sheet on what to expect …

Child with mother

When should you use 13SICK?

Perhaps you’ve unfortunately been here? Faced with an unwell child or adult when your GP is closed? Not quite unwell enough to attend the hospital emergency room, but sick enough to warrant a closer look from the doctor?

That’s when 13SICK comes into play.

13SICK, National Home Doctor Service, is a network of excellent bulk-billing doctors, on call for home visits across Australia. They’re the ones to get in touch with if your child (or someone else in your family) is unwell and your usual GP is closed and you need medical care – and peace of mind.

Not only do they have a wealth of experience caring for babies and children, 13SICK doctors look after adults compassionately and expertly, too. 

One year old baby crying in bed

How do you contact 13SICK?

When you need to see a doctor and it can’t wait, there are three ways to book a 13SICK doctor. You can contact the service by phone, via the website or via the 13SICK app.

What information should I have ready?

Once you contact the service, you’ll be asked what symptoms are present in the patient, to give the visiting doctor a head start on care.

If your call is about an acute, episodic illness or injury (such as an acute respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, asthma flare-up, elderly fall or similar) requiring urgent medical care, your booking will be completed, and you’ll receive an SMS to confirm.

If the symptoms you detail are deemed more serious, and indeed an emergency, you’ll be advised to call an ambulance or head straight to the hospital.

If you are contacting 13SICK for more non-urgent, routine care – things like script repeats, vaccinations or referrals – you’ll be referred to your usual GP.

Pediatric doctor exams newborn baby girl with stethoscope

How long will I have to wait for the doctor?

Once you request a home visit from a 13SICK doctor, expect them to arrive within 2 to 3 hours.

Again, if you need more urgent care than that, attend your local hospital.

How do 13SICK home visits work?

You’ll receive an SMS when your doctor is about to arrive. This message will request that you turn on your outside lights and ensure any pets are safely secured.

Your 13SICK doctor will carry a fully equipped doctor’s bag and starter packs of medications, so if necessary, treatment can be started right away.

After your home visit, the 13SICK doctor will send a clinical report to your usual GP, informing them of the visit and any treatment they’ve prescribed.

You can then follow-up with your usual doctor, if the patient needs further treatment.

(This is a sponsored post for 13SICK)

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