If you’re in need of urgent after-hours medical care, after hours GP can assist you. A simple phone request is now all that is needed to access quality medical assistance when you need it.
Have you ever been kept up late at night worried about an odd bite mark or sudden pain or fever? Rather than having to wait until the next morning or go to the emergency department (unless you need to, of course), you can now get the help you need with ease.
An after hours GP provide urgent medical assistance to those experiencing illness, injury or distress. They are experienced at dealing with special needs such as those of children and infants, the elderly and patients with a disability.
How after hours GP work
If you or someone you are with wants urgent medical advice or assistance, you will typically be required to either call your healthcare provider or download their app onto your mobile device and request assistance. You will have a phone consultation with a registered practitioner about the symptoms being experienced and they will determine the level of care required. If they believe that the person needs to be seen in-person immediately, they will come to your location and bring any necessary medications or equipment so that they can get started on treatment straight away.
Most after hours GP home visits are bulk billed if you have a Medicare card, though you should check with your healthcare provider beforehand.
Note that after hours GP should not be used for medical emergencies; critical or life-threatening conditions should be dealt with by contacting triple zero (000) or by going to hospital. Routine medical treatment should be handled at a medical centre.
Common conditions handled
Non-urgent medical concerns should be dealt with by a GP at a medical centre. After hours GP deal with urgent, but not life-threatening, conditions such as:
- Urinary tract infections
- Respiratory infections
- Eye pain
- Skin infections, rashes and allergic reactions
- Ear aches, diarrhea, fever and vomiting in infants or small children
- Injury due to falls.
Benefits of after hours GP
Medical home visits were once routine practice in the 1960s, however by the 1970s they were replaced with hospitals and visits to the emergency room. This led to overcrowding in emergency departments, which in turn caused patient dissatisfaction and poor outcomes.
The recent revival of the doctor on call service has helped alleviate the pressure on the emergency ward somewhat and allowed patients to receive the caring and effective medical support on demand that they received in the 1960s. Some of the main benefits this service offers patients, practitioners and the community includes:
More holistic understanding of the patient
Being able to see the patient in their natural living environment and to observe their support network (or lack thereof) can give medical practitioners a greater insight into the life and experiences of their patient that they mightn’t get from an office visit.
By cutting down on the amount of unnecessary visits to the emergency room, after hours GP can help reduce the financial pressures placed on the community and government.
Stronger practitioner-patient relationship
A quality practitioner-patient relationship is an important part of delivering quality outcomes. Practitioners who are trusted by their patients are more likely to be perceived as competent and are more likely to report strong job satisfaction.
After hours GP are a convenient option for patients seeking urgent medical care after-hours. They can help facilitate stronger practitioner-patient relationships, cut down on costs and improve medical outcomes in the community.