When you are in need of desperate help of an after hours GP could be the person to call. Many times, throughout our lives disaster will strike and because the clock has gone past 6pm you’ll think to yourself that there will be nobody to help you. That is where, just like countless other times in your life, you are wrong. An after hours GP can assist. Whether it be a sudden outbreak of chicken pox for your youngest offspring, an onset of swollen glands or nearly any ailment that you need rapid relief from, you can give your local health care professional a call and they will be there to help you. It would be great to say that there will be no problem too big but that is probably not the case. For any life-threatening injuries or ailments it is always best to make your way to your closest emergency room or call an ambulance.
An After hours GP will be able to help just like one that works during normal weekday hours, but chances are you will be much happier and relieved to see this one. They will do the same thing as any other health care professional. They will listen to your symptoms, carry out the usual tests and make sure that there is no further risk to your health. As well as that, instead of having to go to a chemist to pick up some antibiotics or medicine to help, you may get lucky and be given some on the spot. They will make sure that you will be fighting fit in no time and that you will be able to resume school/work/studying at the earliest possible time.
In the past year or 18 months, the Australian government has committed itself to ensuring that all Australians have adequate access to an after hours GP, making changes to the Medicare Benefit Schedule in order to do so. They have made changes under the following headings:
Providing the right care at the correct time
An after hours GP should be available to those that need it most when they need it most. The government have promised to put much needed funding into this part of the Medicare scheme to ensure that nobody is being neglected at the their time of need.
Under the new changes, the rebates will be reflective of the qualification of the after hours GP. Those that are fully qualified working between 11 – 7 am and those that work in regional areas will continue to receive the rebates while those that are on the way to becoming fully qualified will receive the rebate adjusted in stages. This also providers compensation to vocational registered GPs who are skilled and qualified enough to offer care under supervision
Defining urgent assessment
It is clear that not all visits from an after hours GP are the same or should be treated the same. Under changes introduced by the government, doctors will be required to carefully note what treatment they gave to the patient and what level of care was needed so as to ascertain the correct price to charge. The next step for care will also be decided and communicated to the patient.
Pre booking rules
An after hours GP should only come after 6pm and for the most part should be used as and when needed in an emergency, or when no care could foreseeably be provided during the normal work day. Changes will be introduced to ensure that pre booking cannot be done a long time in advance and will ensure this service is used correctly.