Seeing an after hours GP if you need STD testing or any instances that requires medical attention is almost identical to consulting with a business hours operator, but the terrain is slightly different.
This is a time for a patient to ask the questions that are most pertinent to their condition and will offer the best feedback from the visit.
Time to examine what those ideal questions look like.
‘Do You Have My Medical Records Available?’
If a patient is being seen to by an after hours GP they are not accustomed to, it is important that the specialist has their medical records on hand. This will inform them about their track record, any history of ailments or allergies, family histories with various issues, medicines taken, surgeries undertaken and other details that will inform their treatment. No doctor should be engaging a patient without a basis for knowing their history.
‘What Should I Be Doing In The Interim Period?’
Even if the visit with the after hours GP does not solve the issue right away, it can be the implementation of a few key behaviours and techniques that already has the patient on the road to recovery. Especially if a patient is in pain, they can receive a script for medicine over the counter or even a recommendation to drink more water and get more rest for an illness or aggravation to dissipate. Medical issues are only prolonged if the issue is not attacked at the source and allowed to fester, so individuals should understand what constitutes best practice in the ensuing hours and days after the consultation.
‘Do I Need To See Another Type of Specialist?’
Depending on their diagnoses, the after hours GP could offer a referral to see a specialist that will cater to the needs of the patients. The medical profession is a wide ranging industry where GPs, surgeons, x-ray operators, nurses and other practitioners network between departments. From severe back pain that requires attention from a chiropractor to heart disease that needs a cardiologist or vision impairment that necessitates an optometrist, inquire about a referral to a different professional.
‘How Much Do I Pay?’
The pricing policy that is involved with an after hours GP can differ from the average consultation with a business hours GP. For a visit that takes place in their office or on site at the hospital, they are usually covered under Medicare if they happen to have a bulk billing policy. Some small fee may apply during a weekend or public holiday visit. However, home visits do require payment given the logistics of transporting a provider from their location to the patient’s premises at their own personal convenience. The fee should be commensurate with that service and there are rebates possible through certain private health insurers that can be sourced. The most important fact to know from the individual’s perspective is the costs involved, because it could become clear for future visits that business hours or a hospital trip could be savvier financially speaking.
‘How Often Are You Available?’
If a good rapport is established with the after hours GP, it will be beneficial to learn their own schedule and see whether or not they can be sourced for future consultations. These practitioners will vary with their timetable as well as the locations that they service. Given that the majority of medical operators will have their doors open within business hours, the after hours professionals will fluctuate with their own scheduling. Obtain their contact information to know when they are available and what times suit them.
Australian citizens will fall ill and suffer from injuries and ailments at all times of the day or night. When an after hours GP is available and on hand to assist with these matters, it is important that the patient uses the time wisely and asks the pertinent questions. Ensure that an open and honest dialogue is enjoyed to maximise the time with these specialists.