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Bulk billed after hours doctor visits in your home, for Adelaide and Hobart
Bulk billed after hours doctor visits in your home, for Adelaide and Hobart

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Doctor home visits are under threat and your support is needed to ensure the voice of the patient is heard. If home visits are removed then there will be increased pressure on hospital emergency departments. A recent report by Deloittes Access Economics found after-hours home visits save taxpayers $724 million dollars over the four years of the budget forward estimates by reducing pressure on hospital emergency departments. A visit to an emergency department for GP type care costs $368, it costs $256 when a patient phones the Healthdirect phone service and $1351 when an ambulance is called, a visit to an after hours clinic costs on average $93, Deloitte Access Economics says. While the cost of a home visit costs between $75 – $153 dependent on presentation and time of day.

Imagine what would happen to your family if you didn’t have access to home visits! Kids fall sick at all hours of the day and night, not just in business hours, and it’s important families can get help when they need it most. Please let as many people know to sign up to the campaign to save home visits.

Home visits are for when there is an urgent need for medical care and your regular GP is unavailable in the after-hours period. This includes evenings, night time, weekends and public holidays. Home visits are not for medical care provision that can wait for you to see your GP at their clinic. Today, more than one million families benefit from this great Medicare initiative every year. Without home visits, many families would have to go to emergency departments for health problems that are not emergencies but cannot wait until business hours to be treated.

Although home visits save taxpayers money and help families when they need it most, home visits are being put at risk by vested interests. Some GPs and businesses stand to make more money if home visits are removed. They are pushing plans to cut the Medicare rebate for home visits; to reduce the number of home visiting doctors and to restrict the promotion of home visit services.

To protect home visits, the national association representing home doctors – the National Association of Medical Deputising Services – has started a campaign. By joining the campaign you can show your support for home visits and can share your story about why home visits are important to you. By working together, we can protect this great Medicare service.

Comparison of patient pathway costs that include and exclude admitted patient costs from “Analysis of after hours primary care pathways” November 2016 Deloitte Access Economics report

Pathway Excluding admitted costs Including admitted costs
Emergency department $368 $458
Ambulance $1,351 $1,548
Extended and after hours only Clinics $93 $97
Healthdirect $256 $293
Hunter GP Access Scheme $169 $215
Medical Deputising Services $128 $128
If home visits were not available, the average cost to the system would be $195.… below is a table representing this.

The cost per patient of accessing alternative pathways from “Analysis of after hours primary care pathways” November 2016 Deloitte Access Economics report

Alternative Proportion of patients Cost
Called an ambulance 4% $1,351
Gone to the hospital emergency department 27% $368
Gone to an after or extended hours clinic 18% $93
Delayed seeking medical care 44% $47
Gone without medical care 6% Not costed
Total 100% $195
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Locally owned and operated... soooo good, support local
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Loving our new Logo
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