We are all concerned about our family’s safety and security. It is hard for us to see them in pain or struggling with medical discomfort during the wee hours of the night. You are miles away from the nearest hospital, and you know that when you get there, you will still wait for hours before a doctor gets to you. So what do you do? You get the services of family home doctors.
Who are family home doctors?
Family home doctors are medical doctors who are part of a system called Deputising Medical Services. The term gives emphasis on providing urgent primary health care to patients at home or in geriatric care services on behalf of the patient’s regular doctor. This system ensures that patients in need have access to quality primary health care round-the-clock, even when their doctor’s clinic is closed.
Are family home doctors qualified and licensed to treat patients?
Of course, they are! The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) requires that all family home doctors from any home doctor services should be registered to their agency. This agency works hand-in-hand with the Australian Medical Board to ensure that qualified family home doctors will cater to your urgent medical needs. In fact, the home doctors who treat you after-hours may be the same doctors you would see when you visit hospitals near you!
What medical conditions do family home doctors treat?
There are many cases where patients are too sick to wait for their doctor the next day but are not ill enough to need emergency attention. Problems like acute pain, symptoms of respiratory illnesses like influenza, bronchiolitis, cough, and colds, as well as fever, gastrointestinal disturbances, and other viral conditions need medical assistance. These medical discomforts are too disturbing to wait for the next day but are not severe enough to be rushed to the hospital.
Family home doctors usually cater to patients of all ages; although most of the time, they provide medical services to young children (below 4 years of age) and the elderly. This access to urgent medical care gives comfort not only to the patients who need their attention but also to the parents and relatives who are the primary caregivers of these patients. Knowing that a competent and reliable doctor takes care of them assures that their safety and overall well-being is a priority.
Can family home doctors replace my GP?
No. Family home doctors work in cooperation with your regular GP. They complement your GP’s services to ensure that your overall health is prioritized and continuous care is given. When family home doctors visit you, they will issue a medical report that will be addressed to your GP so that they are kept in the loop concerning your treatment and care.
It is always good to know that you can count on a reliable and experienced family home doctor to treat and care for you in times of urgent medical situations and whenever your GP is not available. Any illness or accident that needs immediate care should be looked after by a registered professional so that your overall well-being is ensured and secured.