We all know how hard it can be when our children are unwell in
the middle of the night. Wouldn't it be great if you could get free
medical advice over the phone without having to bundle the kids
into the car at 3am?
A newly expanded telephone nurse triage service that is being offered by many GP practices in the Auckland region as part of the new Auckland after-hours health care plan, means that if you or your child is unwell when your doctor's practice is closed, you can just call your usual GP practice number first, for free medical advice in the evenings, weekends and public holidays.*
Your call will connect directly to a registered nurse who will assess your health concern and provide expert medical advice. In up to 80 per cent of cases, the nurses can help you to self-manage the health concern at home, avoiding any unnecessary costs or trips with a sick child to an A+M clinic.
"A simple phone call to your usual GP practice, before you do anything else, will provide advice and reassurance about the level of healthcare required," says Tania Wealleans, ProCare Senior Manager, Patient and Practice Services.
Each time a patient accesses the after-hours telephone advice service, the patient's GP will receive a feedback report about the call, enhancing the continuity of care you and your family receive.
"If you or your child do need further care, our nurse will recommend you go to a hospital emergency department or an appropriate A+M clinic, advising you which A+M clinics offer free or subsidised after-hours care to under six-year-olds and other eligible groups of people," adds Tania.**
To date, 197 practices across Auckland are offering the telephone nurse advice service to their patients.To find out whether your GP practice is taking part, please ask your practice receptionist or member of the practice team.
*All calls are free from a landline. Provider costs may vary for mobile phone calls.
** Subsidised care at lower charges is available to those under six years of age, over 65 years, holders of community health cards, high user health cards and those who live in low income areas.
Source: ProCare Health Ltd
Published: 17 October 2011