House Call Doctor service launches in Rockhampton next week
ROCKHAMPTON residents needing to see a GP after-hours will be able to call one to their home, starting Monday.
House Call Doctor is a new, 100 percent bulk-billed medical service that has brought back the traditional, after-hours house call.
House Call Doctor Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ormond said "House Call Doctor means no more long waits in a hospital emergency room or having to suffer through the night or all weekend until your regular GP opens."
House Call Doctor employs local, Rockhampton doctors and chaperones that know the area and can respond quickly.
Mandalay Medical Centre trialed house calls by GPs in September last year. Read about it here: Mandalay medical practice tried after-hours doctor visits
LNP candidate for Keppel Bridie Luva raised the issue during the State Election campaign last year: Call for after-hours doctors home visit in Rockhampton
Mr Ormond said House Call Doctor records show up to 90 percent of patients are seen within three hours.
He said in areas such as the Wide Bay, House Call Doctor are treating hundreds of patients a week.
"It gives people peace of mind that when they need a doctor they can call House Call Doctor and wait in the comfort of their own home."
Mr Ormond said the severity of the flu season and growing demand from local residents pushed him to fast-track the service to Rockhampton.
"Our call centre is receiving more and more calls from people in Rockhampton asking when we're coming so I've identified it as an area of need and made it a top priority," he said.
New Queensland Government Health figures show 1285 people a day are clogging busy emergency departments with problems including sore throats and nappy rash - problems, Mr Ormond says, can easily be treated with a House Call Doctor visit.
"Emergency departments are meant to deal with life-threatening and serious medical conditions, it's a waste of their resources and costly to the public system to be dealing with minor medical conditions," he said.
"For patients it's a win, win. They get to see a doctor when they need it most - after-hours, in the comfort of their own home and it is 100 percent bulk-billed."
Mr Ormond said all doctors travel with chaperones and House Call Doctor staff provide detailed medical notes to the patient's regular GP.
The service, which launched across the Wide Bay on the Easter long weekend this year, has treated more than 3000 patients and is ready to expand to the Darling Downs with Toowoomba being made another priority city.
House Call Doctor operates Monday to Friday from 6pm and after midday every Saturday across the entire weekend as well as 24 hours on public holidays.
Mr Ormond said all patients' need is a Medicare or Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) card.
Patients can contact House Call Doctor on 13 55 66 or book online at www.housecalldoctor.com.au