Dr Thomas Challenger – Doctors on Call Medcall

By , June 26, 2013 3:06 pm

Dr Thomas Challenger
Medcall Doctors on call to combat flu season

Yahoo!7 Updated June 24, 2013, 6:00 pm

Record demand for house doctors

FIRST ON 7: On-call doctors are gearing up for flu season, which is about to strike Queensland. Kylie Hodge reports.

On-call doctors are gearing up for the flu season about to strike Queensland.

There’s record demand for free GPs who visit patients in their own homes at night, on weekends, and holidays.

Every night hundreds of Gold Coast patients have MedCall doctors come to them for free.

DrTom Challenger started the service alone 13 years ago. He now employs 33 other GPs.

“My grandfather was in a nursing home and he was pretty ill and we couldn’t get a doctor out late at night and he ended up dying as a result,” Dr Challenger said.

In Brisbane, Family Care Friendly Medical Services answers calls from across the south east and interstate.

“We’ve got some very bad influenzas down south – some very sick children, and also some of the influenzas are impacting on elder members of the community,” spokesperson Stuart Tait said.

Every patient the doctors treat, is one fewer waiting in the emergency departments.

“They significantly assist with reducing the number of presentations to the emergency departments.” Dr Christian Rowan from AMAQ said.

“One day Telstra disconnected our phones in the office and all the hospitals on the Gold Coast went on bypass with the load of the patients we weren’t seeing.”

But the AMAQ says recent changes to federal funding for GPs are making it more difficult for practices to provide doctors on call.

“The federal government has made after hours viability more difficult,” Dr Rowan said.

Gold Coast:
Medcall, 55 311 224
Free, bulk-billing on-call GP service

Mon-Fri 6pm-8am, Saturdays from noon, All day Sundays & public holidays



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