Getting sick is inconvenient, but what’s more inconvenient is not being able to see a GP when you need to. It’s impossible to decide when you fall unwell, but often, medical surgeries are only open between normal working hours. This is not very helpful when you need medical advice over the weekend or in the middle of the night. This is why a 24 hour doctor is so useful. This service will allow you to get medical advice whenever you need it, regardless of the day or time. If you haven’t heard of this service, keep reading to find out the answers to some frequently asked questions.
What is a 24 hour doctor?
In basic terms, this is a medical professional, medical service or medical clinic that is open after hours. Oftentimes, if you feel unwell outside normal business hours, you either have to wait until the morning, or go to emergency at the local hospital. Neither of these are good options, but up until recently they were the only options available. However, 24 hour doctors are becoming more common, meaning you will be able to get medical advice at any time.
Are these practitioners qualified?
All 24 hour doctors are required to be fully qualified. The Medical Board of Australia also requires these professionals to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). It is important to recognise that these medical professionals have to adhere to the same standards and have the same qualifications as any other doctor. The only difference is that it is possible to get in touch with these general practitioners at any hour of the day or night.
What can 24 hour doctors do?
There is a common misconception that these medical professionals are limited to what they can do for their patients. However, this is not true. In reality, after- hour medical professionals are able to offer exactly the same services and advice as any other general practitioner. This includes:
- It is possible to get a repeat prescription or a new prescription from these medical professionals
- Medical certificates. If you require a medical certificate to give to your employer, it is possible to get one from an after-hours medical professional.
- After- hour practitioners are also able to give you a referral to see a specialist.
- Radiology requests. If you need a CAT scan, mammogram, MRI or any other form of diagnostic imaging, an after-hours medical professional can help you arrange this.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits of seeing an after hour medical professional. The first of which is that these professionals are able to see you at any time, so you do not have to wait until normal clinic hours to speak to a professional. Essentially, these general practitioners are available to help you seven days a week, day and night. Furthermore, you will receive almost instant service. If you don’t want to leave your house, it is easy to video call a 24 hour doctor and be discussing your ailment within minutes.
Feeling unwell is unpleasant enough, even without the added struggle of finding a medical professional who has the time to see you. In most circumstances, it is important to seek advice before the illness gets worse. This is why it is so essential to see a general practitioner as soon as possible. 24 hour doctors allow you to see a medical professional quickly and easily without having to wait several days before you can get an appointment. This service also allows you the convenience of getting professional medical advice without even having to leave the comfort of your home. Next time you need to speak to a GP, an after- hours doctor may be the best option.