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In many cities and large towns, one of the growing services available is doctor on demand. This service is a relatively new sector, first introduced to aid in medical emergencies. Instead of waiting in hospital waiting rooms or booking appointments, you can be treated immediately with this service.
Fully qualified doctors, some who work full time at hospitals, are employed within the doctor on demand service. Patients can now ring and see a doctor at home within minutes. The doctors can be on call at home and are each assigned a specific area within the city. This makes the call out time quicker, as the doctors are familiar with specific routes within their own areas.
There is a wide range of services available from the doctor on demand service. The doctors are usually available 24 hours and are qualified to prescribe medicines not available without prescription. Services from treatment for the common cold to psychiatric referrals can be obtained from the doctors.
If you are out sick from work and need a certificate for your employer, these can also be obtained from the doctor on demand service. Many large companies employ the doctors on demand when screening the health of a large number of employees. This may be required when there are a large number of new employees.
The first step when calling the service is to give your details to a receptionist. If the patient has called before, previous details can be retrieved from a database. The receptionist will ask for details of the illness and pass these on to the relevant doctor. The receptionist will also take payment details. These can be handled either immediately by credit card or by later billing.
Depending on the distance the doctor has to travel, their aim is to reach the patient within 30 minutes. Any drugs required will be added to the patient’s invoice. The doctor will be permitted to carry some drugs, but may have to prescribe some that he is not permitted to carry.
After the doctor has treated the patient, he will then fill out medical notes to be stored in a database at the main office. These will be kept in case of follow up or as a case history for any further call outs. The doctor on demand service also has the power to make referrals for quicker admittance for patients to hospital.
The fee for the doctor on demand service is determined by a few factors. Distance of call out and length of call out are calculated on the invoice. The time of call out, night or day, will also be a factor, and any drugs administered will be added to the bill. Although the fee may seem high, in an emergency it may be worth it for peace of mind.
This sounds a lot like the old days when doctors actually made house calls. It's great to see this kind of service making a comeback. Is it expensive? It might be, but think of the time you'd save not sitting in waiting rooms, trying to figure out when a doctor has an opening, etc.