If you find yourself with an emergency or life-threatening illness, you know you should call the emergency services at once. But what if you find yourself ill outside your GP's opening hours but not needing emergency treatment? Here are some reasons why you should call an out-of-hours house-call doctor.
Quick response time
Put simply, why suffer? Instead of feeling ill all through the night or the weekend, waiting for your GP's surgery to open again, you can have a trained doctor see you within an hour or two. They will be able to diagnose your problem and start treating you immediately, giving you enough medication to tide you over until your pharmacy opens again. Your illness didn't wait for your GP's surgery to open, so why should your treatment wait?
Working with your GP
By calling an out-of-hours service, you are not sidelining your usual GP. After your house-call doctor has seen and treated you, they will write a report for your GP which should be delivered on the next working day. Your usual doctor will then be able to see what has happened and how you have been treated, and they will be able to arrange or adjust any further treatment as necessary. The report will also form part of your medical history so that it will not be overlooked if your GP needs to know about it in future.
When you are ill, the last thing you want to do is travel outside to get to the surgery. By using a house-call service, you can keep yourself comfortable, warm and rested while you wait for the doctor to arrive. Rest is often recommended by doctors for a minor illness, so by staying at home, you have effectively begun to treat yourself while you are waiting for the doctor.
The service should be bulk billed for Medicare and DVA holders, although you should check this when you first make contact. This means you can rest assured that you will not be incurring any hefty fees by calling the doctor to your home, which allows you to concentrate purely on your treatment and recovery.
If your illness is an emergency, you should call the Australian emergency number (000). For less serious illnesses, though, there is no need to suffer through the night. Give your out-of-hours house-call service a ring, and take the first step to recovery as soon as possible.