There is never a good time to get sick, but everyone will probably admit that evenings, weekends or holidays are the worst of all. It is almost impossible to make an appointment with your doctor. Luckily, there are on-call services available outside of normal working hours. An on-call doctor can not only intervene to provide local care, but can also travel to your home if necessary and in emergencies. But when should you call in an on-call doctor?
WHAT IS AN ON-CALL DOCTOR?
In addition to the usual opening hours of a conventional doctor’s surgery, i.e. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the possibility of opening on Saturdays, your doctor must be available at all times. But if he cannot be reached at all hours, he will have to leave other means of contacting colleagues, the on-call doctors, at his practice. The latter can indeed be reached at any time. They are on duty at night, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., at weekends and on public holidays. They are volunteers who work in on-call doctors’ homes, doctors’ surgeries or any other medical service requiring their presence. They may also work in associations providing permanent care, including their own doctors. We can, for example, mention numerous associations such as sos médecin, which are able to provide permanent care for the inhabitants of the regions where one of its premises is located.
WHEN TO CALL ON A DOCTOR ON CALL?
All over France, there are many practitioners available at all times, capable of providing round-the-clock care and presenting themselves as an alternative to emergencies. You can call on their services when it is not a vital emergency, but which require interventions during non-working hours and days. If this is indeed your case, it is always better to go to the emergency care centres. Generally, this is a paid service. To bill his fees, the doctor on duty must take into account several factors, including the day and time of the operation. He also considers the patient’s age. The trip is also included in the bill. However, for persons benefiting from the government’s aid or those who have used the service following an accident at work, using the services of a doctor on call is free of charge. Nevertheless, the expenses are reimbursable by the health insurance.