We all know that dreaded feeling when your head finally hits the pillow, only to hear your child begin fighting a raspy cough. In a return to good, old-fashioned medical care, doctor home visits are becoming increasingly accessible, even in more regional areas. Here’s a more in-depth look at Australia’s largest provider of bulk-billed, after hours doctor home visits.
If a child becomes very ill in the middle of the night, parents without access to 24 hour medical centres often have no choice but to bundle up their sick child and head to their local emergency department. Nobody wants to spend hours waiting in emergency, clogging up the system, but some ailments can’t wait till the GP opens the next day. Even if you have an all-night clinic nearby, if you’re home alone, you might end up having to wake your other children so you can take the sick child to see a doctor.
As parents, we know the most common ailments that seem to afflict the kids in the wee hours – croup, fever, middle ear infections, chest infections, gastro – and sometimes common injuries from household accidents (jumping on the bed anyone?).
That’s where the National Home Doctor Service is so incredibly handy. It’s such an accessible service, and this year it will treat more than one million patients, in their homes. That’s a huge number of patients who won’t need to wait around for hours using the important resources of emergency departments.
The National Home Doctor Service bulk bills all its patients. All you need is a Medicare card and your visit is covered. All the doctors carry starter packs of common medications, so in many instances you’ll be able to start treatment immediately, without worrying about finding an all-night pharmacy.
After the visit, the National Home Doctor Service sends a clinical report to your regular GP the following day.
Doctors from the National Home Doctor Service hit the road at 6pm on weeknights, from noon on Saturday through to 8am on Monday morning, and all day on public holidays. You can follow the National Home Doctor Service on Facebook and Twitter, and to organise a home visit, call 13SICK (13 7425).
To find out if your area is covered by the service, have a look at the locations.