TEAMS of after-hours doctors will be making house calls across Townsville and surrounding areas from Monday (Sept 7) evening to help residents who are battling one of the worst flu seasons yet.
House Call Doctor has made Townsville a priority with new Health Department figures showing the number of flu cases across Queensland is higher than anywhere else in the country.
House Call Doctor Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ormond said House Call Doctor has local doctors and chaperones on the road bringing back the traditional house call.
“Residents who are sick can now wait in the comfort of their own home for a doctor to come to them and it is 100 percent bulk billed which means they are not a cent out of pocket,” Mr Ormond said.
Queensland Health figures show last month in July nearly half of the patients – 42.2% – who went to the Townsville Hospital could have been treated by a House Call Doctor in their own home.
Mr Ormond said 6,386 patients attended Townsville Hospital in July 2015 with 2,697 classified as category 4 or 5, which means they had non-threatening conditions.
“Emergency departments are meant to deal with life-threatening and serious medical conditions, it’s inefficient for the patient and a waste of hospital resources to be dealing with minor medical conditions,” Mr 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.”
The service, which was launched across the Wide Bay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Darling Downs regions in recent months, is treating hundreds of patients a night across regional Queensland.
“We are now making Townsville and surrounds a priority,” Mr Ormond said.
Townsville residents will see Australian television game show legend “Baby” John Burgess on their TV screens as an Ambassador for the new, and much needed service.
“It’s peace of mind when you need it. You call House Call Doctor, they send a doctor to your door,” said Mr John Burgess.
Mr Ormond said as word has spread the House Call Doctor call centre on 13 55 66 has been inundated with Gladstone residents wanting to know when the service will begin in their city.
“We are treating dozens upon dozens of patients a night and our doctors are telling us more than a third of the people they are treating are suffering from the flu,” Mr Ormond said.
House Call Doctor records show up to 90 percent of patients are seen within three hours.
“This service fills a major gap in health services across the Townsville region and better still gives patients peace of mind that they don’t have to sit in an emergency department.”
Mr Ormond said House Call Doctor only employs local doctors and chaperones because they know the local area and can get to patients quickly.
“All patients need to get a doctor to their door is a Medicare or a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) card and the service is 100 percent bulk billed.”
Mr Ormond said Gladstone residents will begin to see House Call Doctor cars on the road from this Tuesday.
“Residents will be seeing our House Call Doctor cars on the streets and and like in other areas where we operate it also means jobs for doctors and chaperones.”
Mr Ormond said all doctors travel with chaperones and House Call Doctor staff provide detailed medical notes to the patient’s regular GP.
House Call Doctor operates Monday to Friday from 6pm to 8am and after midday Saturday and 24 hours a day on Sunday and public holidays.
“People in the Townsville region often can’t see an after-hours GP when they need to so we’re making regional Queensland and in particular, Townsville, a priority,” Mr Ormond said.
“And unlike some services that charge $400 after midnight we never charge if you have a Medicare or DVA card.”
Patients can contact House Call Doctor on 13 55 66 or book online at www.housecalldoctor.com.au
- Patients can book by calling 13 55 66 or book online at www.housecalldoctor.com.au
- For a 100% bulk billed home visit all patients need is a Medicare or Department of Veteran Affiars Card DVA)
- House Call Doctor operates from 6pm weekdays, from noon on Saturday and 24 hours a day on Sunday and public holidays.
- Townsville suburbs serviced in the initial roll out of House Call Doctor –