After hours GP from Instant Consult is a unique role for medical experts who attend to patient needs outside of the regular timeslots for residents.
When time pressures become overbearing but the ailment is not immediately life threatening or deemed an emergency, these practitioners fill a valued duty for the community at large.
Many individuals will see this appointment as a quick transaction where the treatment or medicine is administered and everyone can move on.
However, this is an opportunity to ask some pertinent questions from the perspective of the patient, asking some key questions that will enlighten them on important details.
‘Am I Eligible To Use An After Hours GP?’
In principle anyone can utilise the services of an after hours GP. So long as they are a citizen who is registered with Medicare then they should be given the same access and privileges as anyone else. That is a different scenario though for professionals who are tasked with house visitations. Sometimes there can be special provisions for these types of specialists who can only arrive on site given the parameters that have been established for them. This will include the types of housing, their postcode and the residents that live inside them, giving the medical practice a basis to make decisions on house visits.
‘What Is Your Medical Background?’
It can feel intrusive and rude under some circumstances to put an after hours GP on the spot by probing them for their medical background. However, this can be asked in polite conversation because it will give patients the chance to know about their level of expertise and experience. Residents using these services can suffer from a range of ailments including respiratory problems, heart disease, diabetes, mental illnesses, psychiatric issues, broken limbs or another symptom altogether. The greater the understanding of the condition and the treatments required to resolve the issue, the more satisfied the patient will be for their presence.
‘When Should I Next See My Regular GP?’
Sometimes it will be necessary to consult with an after hours GP before going back to see a regular doctor during business hours. They will have those medical records and knowledge about the ailment already on hand. For certain patients it will be worthwhile to have an early morning or late night visit recorded to document an occurrence. It is a fine line between a visit to the emergency room at the hospital and a home or office visit, but that option will be available to the patient. By quizzing the practitioner about the next consultation, residents will know how urgent their matter is and what further action should be taken once they have left.
‘When Are You Available?’
The basic guide for an after hours GP is that they operate outside of regulation business hours and business schedules (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm). This will include early mornings, late nights and public holidays when other professionals are taking some well earned time off. Yet that is too wide a window for many to remain open for throughout the year and it is important for residents to get a gauge of their weekly schedule. They will tend to recommend consultations and bookings under very specific circumstances, ensuring that they are not put out inconveniently during the week whilst not putting added pressure on local emergency rooms at the nearby hospital.
‘What Is Your Billing Policy?’
For a range of services and types of care, the after hours GP can be covered or heavily subsidised by Medicare. Yet there will be some treatments and services that will incorporate a fee, including some medicines and vaccinations. Any professional in this space should offer a transparent billing policy where those figures are published online. If that is provided through an app or a website then citizens can feel safe knowing what they have to spend for the privilege of seeing an after hours GP.