60 calls for home visits within 2 days
Business has boomed for a new home doctor service in line with an increasing number of flu cases.
House Call Doctor has received more than 30 calls for after-hours consultations in the first two nights of operation.
The service launched in Toowoomba on Monday, almost two months ahead of schedule, in order to meet patient demand during flu season and take the pressure off public health emergency departments.
But CEO Wayne Ormond said that while he anticipated a steady demand for after-hours health care, the average of 30 house calls a night was unexpected.
“We did anticipate this eventually, but initially I thought we’d have the numbers we’re seeing,” Mr Ormond said.
“The demand is increasing so from next week we’ll be putting on more resources.”
More than a third of call house calls were to treat the flu and flu-like symptoms while another third of calls were for a gastro.
Mr Ormond said concerning was the increasing number of children whose parents were calling for medical help to treat hand, foot and mouth-like symptoms.
“There does seem to be symptoms of foot and mouth around Toowoomba,” Mr Ormond said.
“Our advice is that if people are concerned about that to see a general practitioner.”
The service is able to provide GP-services in a client’s home, but more pressing and serious medical conditions are triaged and the patients referred on to emergency departments.
Mr Ormond said House Call Doctor was prepared for a busy weekend which typically meant a spike in after-hours medical doctor services.
“Since we have been busier than anticipated we are expecting a busy weekend,” he said.
“Weekends are when things are closed so that’s when we have the demand.”
He said a majority of calls were from outlying suburbs including Wyreema, Highfields, Westbrook and Gowrie Junction.
He said the after-hours service relieved pressure on public health system and emergency departments and met a demand in the community for people unable to travel to access medical help and advice.
House Call Doctor
- Averaging more than 30 calls a night for medical help
- A third of all calls are for flu and flu-like symptoms
- A third of all calls are for gastro treatments
- Call 13 55 66
Original Source: The Chronicle | Tara Miko | 16th Jul 2015