As the demand for family home doctors increase as time passes, many questions begin to surface about their medical services. Let us provide straightforward answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about family home doctors and their practice.
Who are family home doctors?
Family home doctors in Australia are licensed medical professionals who are registered under the Medical Board of Australia and are recognized and certified by the Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL). This non-profit agency is responsible for providing appropriate accreditation and quality improvement services to general practices, medical deputising services, and after-hours medical services.
What is a Medical Deputising Service?
According to the Australian government’s Department of Health, a Medical Deputising Service is an organization which directly arranges for medical practitioners to provide after-hours medical services to patients during the absence of, and at the request of, the patients’ GPs or family doctors.
How much do family home doctors charge for their medical services?
Most of the service providers of family home doctors bulk bill their medical services. That means Medicare, Bupa, HCF, or other private health insurance companies cover the full payment and no out-of-pocket expenses are expected. However, for those patients who are not members of Medicare and do not hold any private health insurance, certain service fees are expected to be paid in cash or credit card. Inquire about the provider’s specific way of payment to fully understand their payment procedures.
How do you book for family home doctors’ services?
When the need for urgent medical attention arises, you should call the nearest home visiting doctor’s hotline. The call center agent medically trained to handle your call gets sufficient information about your condition and sends the nearest available home doctor to cater to your needs. Be sure that when you call the hotline, you already prepared the important patient’s information such as their name, address, date of birth, signs and symptoms, complaints, and their GP’s information so that the operator can endorse your situation to the family home doctor appropriately.
How long should I wait for the family home doctors to arrive?
The medically-trained call operator screens the calls and prioritizes each request based on the patient’s need to give way to more severe conditions that need urgent medical attention. Some home doctor services send SMS of the doctor’s ETA (estimated time of arrival). On average, family home doctors are expected to arrive one to four hours after your call. We advise that if any changes occur to the patient’s condition that could call for an emergency, they should directly report to the nearest hospital emergency department right away. If possible, they can also call the service provider back to cancel the appointment and let the operator arrange ambulance services for them.
Can the family home doctors replace my GP?
No. Family home doctors complement the medical services of your general practitioner or GP. They provide urgent care only when your GP is not available. We, therefore, advise that your GP is still the best person to treat you since they are the ones who know your medical history and has been seeing you longer than family home doctors.
Armed with this useful information, requesting for family home doctors’ services should now be more straightforward and hassle-free. Get the hotline numbers of all home visiting service providers near you and ensure that they are within reach in case you need them.