What Questions Your After Hours GP Won’t Want To Hear
Making the most out of an appointment with an after hours GP is a valuable exercise.
Often the bookings fill up quickly, especially during flu season and when the weather conditions change.
Waiting times can extend beyond 30 to 45 or 60 minutes plus and that moment when the receptionist clears you through to the office is a welcomed one.
As a patient it is imperative that this time is used wisely, so avoiding pointless questions and an eyebrow raise from the practitioner is always advised.
No question is out of bounds and these private consultations are protected, but these appointments should also not be exploited.
Let us outline some examples of questions that a general practitioner won’t want to hear during a consultation.
“How Do I Know If Vaccines Work?”
Medical science is adapting and innovating everyday, much to our own benefit. Yet the notion that the after hours GP can provide a referral for a vaccination under the guise that it might not work or result in damaging side effects is simply absurd. The anti-vaccination campaign in Australia may be small, but there is always the threat of misinformation spreading, much like a disease that needs to be inoculated. If you happen to buy into this propaganda, prepare for a very blunt response because these claims are not supported by any peer-reviewed study within the medical community.
“Can I Just Use Antibiotics For This Issue?”
It is often not the fault of the patient to buy into the marketing jargon and promises made by companies who produce antibiotics that can be purchased over the counter or at supermarkets. Any certified after hours GP will be able to explain that these pills can be helpful for complimentary purposes but by no means are they a reliable solution for particular ailments. Avoid buying into their health properties as a one-stop-shop solution and see them as a complimentary tool – nothing more or less.
“Will My Insurance Cover This Treatment or Visit?”
Your after hours GP will have some basic understanding about what private medical insurance is available in the market and what some premiums and deductibles are available, but they cannot answer specific questions for very unique policies. This is a topic of conversation that can only be had with one body and that is the insurance provider themselves. It is always advised for patients who are facing a surgery, treatment or ongoing prescription for a type of medicine that they understand what their insurance cover provides them, what it doesn’t cover and how they can access better cover for their budget. Practitioners in their office can diagnose all manner of illnesses and ailments, but they are not insurance experts.
“Can You Check Us All Right Here, Right Now?”
Visiting your after hours GP means an intimate and professional one-on-one consultation to deal with a specific medical need for the patient. For parents or guardians or enter a consultation with their children because they need to be looked after, there is occasionally a request that is made which is out of limits – can a checkup be made on the son or daughter? The policy will be universal across the industry and that is that each and every patient must be booked and seen on their own time for their own booking.
“Should I Use Google To Find Out More?”
Arguably the most absurd and nonsensical question that can be posed to a after hours GP is the need to use Google to find out more about a particular ailment. This can actually be damaging the mental health of individuals who spiral down a path of self diagnosis without any basis of facts to support the theories. Whilst this is a tool that can help to identify certain healthy behaviours, it should not be utilised under this guise whatsoever.