House Call Doctor is on a recruitment drive for extra doctors across the Sunshine Coast to help cope with increased demand as the flu season worsens.
The deadly flu has already claimed 192 lives nationally and at least 25 across Queensland with House Call Doctor treating more than 150 patients for flu-like symptoms in the Sunshine Coast so far this year.
Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ormond said during last year’s flu season doctors from Brisbane and interstate were flown to areas such as the Sunshine Coast to meet patient demand and help take pressure off the local hospital emergency department.
“There have been close to 20,000 flu cases already this year in Queensland and we’re urging people to get the flu vaccine and if they are sick, stay home from work and keep children home from school,” Mr Ormond said.
“The best time to get vaccinated is now, so people should be going to their GP to have the flu shot before the worst of the flu season hits.”
The home visiting doctor service launched in the Sunshine Coast in February 2016 and now cares for more patients in the after-hours across regional Queensland than any other provider.
Mr Ormond said the Scott Morrison Government had proven regional healthcare was a priority when it increased the Medicare rebate for doctors working in areas such as the Sunshine Coast in the after-hours.
“House Call Doctor already has extra doctors rostered on more shifts and with the worst of the flu season ahead of us, we are putting the call out for more doctors to join the service to help cope with patient demand at night and on weekends,” he said.
Department of Health figures show 32 per cent of people who go to hospital emergency departments could be treated by a GP.
“House Call Doctor’s service helps fill the gap for patients when they have a non-life-threatening condition and their GP is closed and supports the State Government’s plea for people to keep emergency departments for emergencies,” Mr Ormond said.
House Call Doctor has made nearly 800,000 visits to homes, hotels, aged care facilities and nursing homes since it began in April 2015.