Unfortunately, getting sick is part of life and it is impossible to know when, or where you will fall unwell. Accidents also happen, and you could find yourself in need of medical assistance. So why is it that most GP’s are only open from 9-5 on weekdays? This really isn’t helpful if you need aid outside of those hours. Sometimes going and sitting in emergency for hours isn’t the best option- this is why 24- hour doctors exist. However, because of the perception that practices are only open between normal business hours, not many people know about their local 24-hour doctor and where to find their clinic. If you don’t know where the closest one is to you, here are some tips and tricks to help you find one.
Ask for recommendations
The first point of call should be your friends and family, try asking to see if they have ever visited a 24- hour doctor. If so, ask about their experience at the clinic. Their recommendations and advice could come in handy if you feel unwell on the weekend or in the middle of the night, so find out where the clinic is and consider going there to sign up on their system. This means that if you do need to visit in the early hours of the morning because you are feeling ill, you wont have to faff around with filling out paperwork before you see the GP.
The internet knows everything these days, so if your friends and family can’t suggest any 24-hour doctors, you can be sure that Google will be able to. A quick search should bring up lots of results for you to look through. You will also be able to get lots of information about where the clinic is, how many doctors work there and what services or treatment they offer. This should also tell you if there are any 24-hour chemists near by if you needed to collect a prescription given to you by the medical professional.
Ask your GP
Another great way of finding out what 24-hour doctors are in the local area is by asking your GP. It is the job of medical professionals to keep up to date with clinics, pharmacies and specialists in the surrounding areas, so they should be able to give you some suggestions. Furthermore, any good GP should be able to inform you about which afterhours clinics offer good patient services, and which ones you should avoid if you want to receive good medical attention.
Depending on where you live, it can be challenging to find clinics that are open at all hours, however, you may be able to find a late clinic. These practices are not open at all times, however, they are open until late (often until about 12am) and on weekends. So if you are in need of medical assistance, this might also be something to consider. Furthermore, a common misconception is that after hour GP’s don’t bulk bill and that you will have to pay for your treatment, when this is really not the case. Many after hour medical practices do bulk bill, and therefore you will be covered by Medicare. As with any practice, though, it just depends on where you go. So, if you are unsure, make sure you double check and are clear on how the payment options work before accepting any treatment.
Although afterhours medical professionals seem few and far between, they are becoming increasingly popular. This means that you may not hear about them unless you go looking. So, in order to cover yourself if you do feel unwell in the middle of the night, make sure you are aware of your closest 24-hour doctor.