How to Book an After Hours Doctor's Appointment?

Written by Sai Pragna Chagarla, Writer at Hola Health

Health issues do not always wait for convenient times. Feeling unwell after regular clinic hours will leave you wondering how to book an after-hours doctor’s appointment. In such situations, knowing how to access healthcare when you need it becomes paramount. After-hours healthcare in Australia refers to medical services outside regular clinic hours, typically during evenings, weekends, and public holidays. Patients can search for night doctors near them or contact an online doctor service via Telehealth.  

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 46.7% of people delayed or did not use an after-hours GP when needed. 57% of people living in rural or remote areas are less likely to get to a night doctor. A study published in the RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) journal examined the user profile of the after-hours helpline, revealing that it is utilized by parents of young children, women, and individuals residing in remote areas. 

Telehealth has emerged as a valuable platform that makes healthcare services, online and accessible 24 hours a day. Telehealth encompasses a range of services delivered remotely, allowing patients to consult with healthcare professionals via phone calls, video conferences, or secure messaging platforms.  

Connect with our doctor within 15 mins

Finding an after-hours GP or doctor near me – online

Finding a night doctor nearby is made simple with the advent of search engines and other online resources. One can utilise the following resources to find the information: 

  • Search Engines: Start by using popular search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Simply enter keywords such as “after-hours GP near me” or “after-hours doctors near me” into the search bar. The search results will display a list of doctor services that operate after regular clinic hours. 
  • Healthcare Apps: Numerous healthcare apps are available that allow users to search based on their location. These apps often provide detailed information about available clinics, their opening hours, contact details, and services offered. Users can search based on their location for example Perth, WA. 
  • Telehealth Platforms: These platforms connect patients with healthcare providers virtually. Many telehealth services operate 24/7 and offer after-hours appointments with GPs (General Practitioners), allowing you to receive medical advice, medical certificates, and prescriptions from the comfort of your home.  
  • Local Health Directories: Check local health directories or government websites for the information in your area.  
  • Social media: Explore social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for recommendations or reviews of night doctors in your locality in Australia.  
  • Call Your Regular Clinic: If you are unsure, consider contacting your regular GP clinic. They may have information about nearby clinics or online helpline services that can help at odd hours.  

How to connect with after-hours doctors or GP in Australia?

After-hours care is actively being pursued by the government of Australia to ensure treatment is given when it is necessary. Many online healthcare providers are also making it accessible to the public. Some of the ways to connect to an after-hours doctor in Australia are: 

After hour GP consultations:

Use telehealth providers and request a consultation from the comfort of your home. 

  • You can choose the kind of consultation you are looking for such a GP Consult, an online script, or a medical certificate. 
  • You can put in your Medicare details, make the payment, and get connected to a GP within 15 minutes. The GP will answer your medical queries, and if necessary, will provide you with an eScript or a medical certificate via SMS or email.  

Emergency department

If it is an emergency and cannot be treated with medical advice from the doctor, you can call (000) emergency department and go to the hospital 

Pharmacy Services

Some pharmacies offer after-hours services, including medication dispensing, advice on minor ailments, and referrals to appropriate healthcare professionals. Pharmacists play a crucial role in supporting patients’ health needs, especially when other healthcare services are unavailable. 

Government funded helplines:

  • For patients from NSW, ACT, SA, WA, and NT can ring 1800 022 222 (healthdirect Australia)3. 
  • Queensland has a 24-hour nurse-advise line called 13HEALTH. 
  • Victoria has Nurse-on-call 24-hour advice line on 1300 606 024. 
  • For people in Tasmania, you can reach 1300 780 011 for GP Assist. 
  •  Pregnancy, Birth and Baby hotline (1800 882 436) – 24-hour service where you speak to a maternal child health nurse. 
  • The National Home Doctor service, accessible via telephone (13 74 25) or its mobile app, offers bulk-billed doctor home visits5. 
  • Mental Health: Beyond Blue4 offers around-the-clock counselling support services for all Australians experiencing mental health concerns. Some telehealth providers also include mental health support in their services. 

Medical services offered by our after-hours doctors

Get access to range of essential medical services to address healthcare needs outside of regular clinic hours. Here are some of the key medical services offered: 

1. After Hours Prescriptions:

After diagnosing a medical condition, the night doctor may prescribe appropriate medications. These medications are given to manage symptoms, treat infections, or alleviate pain. They ensure patients receive clear instructions on medication usage, dosage, and potential side effects. This is given in the form of an electronic script and will be sent to the patient through an SMS or email.  

2. After Hours Medical Certificates:

You can now request online medical certificates from online doctors, GPs and Nurse Practitioners. This verifies a patient’s illness or injury and provide evidence of their inability to attend work or perform certain duties. These certificates serve as official documentation for employers, educational institutions, insurance companies, and other relevant parties.

3.After-hours Consultations:

Request telehealth consultations via phone or video call. This is safe for patients who are unable to visit a physical clinic during those hours. Women, people with mobility issues, parents of young children, people in rural/remote areas will benefit from these services. Telehealth consultations allow patients to receive medical advice, prescriptions, medical certificates, and referrals remotely. This promotes accessibility and convenience. Additionally, there is no wait time you can speak to a doctor within 15 minutes, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  

4. After hour Referrals:

In cases where specialised care or further evaluation is required, the Australian GPs and doctors online can provide referrals to specialists, hospitals, or other healthcare providers. They ensure seamless continuity of care by coordinating with other medical professionals as needed.

5. Pathology or Radiology Test Referrals:

When necessary, Australian registered doctors may give referrals for diagnostic tests. They can give both pathology referrals as well as radiology referrals. Some of the tests are blood tests, urine tests, throat swabs, MRIs, or X-rays to aid in the diagnosis and management of medical conditions. These tests help provide valuable information to guide treatment decisions.

In conclusion, after-hours doctor appointments play a vital role in ensuring timely access to medical care outside of regular clinic hours. By familiarizing yourself with available services, you can effectively navigate the process of booking, prioritising your health and well-being. 

See a GP within 15 minutes anytime, day or night

Reference

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Patient Experiences: Reference Link 
  2. RACGP – Australian Family Physician: Reference Link 
  3. HealthDirect – After Hours Healthcare: Reference Link 
  4. Beyond Blue: Reference Link 
  5. The University of Melbourne: Reference Link 
  6. BMC Medical Centre: Reference Link 
  7. Australian Department of Health and Aged Care: Reference Link 
  8. Consumers Health Forum of Australia: Reference Link 
  9. Better Health: Reference Link 

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.