National Home Doctor: What's Your Experience with Their Service?

Who are these doctors anyway?

I understand they're registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), as required by the Medical Board of Australia and carry full medical indemnity insurance, but are they any good? or will they be those types who'll grab your money and advise the patient to go to ED?

In short, are these doctors the rejects ?

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National Home Doctor Service
National Home Doctor Service


  • Turn up chance after booking is 1/1000.

    • Obviously I cannot speak for your experience, but my doctor has turned up everytime - 100%. They may be running late though.

      • They didn't turn up for 5 bookings.

        The one who turned up apparently gave wrong medication. When I showed it to my regular GP next day, he was quite furious and claimed this medicine should never be given to a toddler.

        • That's not uncommon for doctors to disagree on medication. E.G. One Dr has read subsequent studies showing its safe for toddlers and the other hasn't. It happens.

  • Don’t expect them in a hurry. They’re adequate for their intended purpose.

  • In short, are these doctors the rejects ?

    When I asked my GP about them, he said they are mostly just regular doctors who roster on for this work as it suits their lifestyle etc. They might do it one night a week for additional income etc. So not rejects.

    I've used a few times when for things like gastro and needed some anti nausea meds. Once they turned up quite quickly in about 20 mins. Another time took about 2 hours. So it just depends how busy they are in your area.

    • Suits their lifestyle of unpredictable income, place of work and risk of entering a murder dungeon.

      Exceptions exist but I wouldn't hold my breath for a Gregory House to knock my door.

      • I doubt the on-call income is unpredictable. But I dont know what the pay structure is for the home doctor service. But I imagine the money is good, or they wouldn't do it. Risk of murder dungeons is the same for any house caller e.g. tradies, delivery folks. :P

        The couple of doctors we've seen with the home service were super helpful and caring. Can't ask for anything more than that. They carry some meds with them e.g. anti-nausea for gastro, and other basics like that and it's a really great service for after hours IMO if it's a simple issue like severe Gastro where you cant leave the bathroom to go to ED.

        It's always gonna depend on the type of ailment though. If for example you have some weird "pain" somewhere on your body it's gonna be hit and miss if they can diagnose it effectively, and you might think "this service/doctor sucks" if they end up sending you to ED.

        • Risk of murder dungeons is the same for any house caller e.g. tradies, delivery folks. :P

          Tradies may rock up with a labourer, and usually with powertools. Also, most are physically capable of defending themselves.

          Some doctors haven't seen sunlight for decades and that stethoscope has given them a bad case of scoliosis.

          I am not saying you're going to get a terrible doctor, I'm simply not engaging in a random doctor, especially one outside their element if I need a diagnosis on anything serious.

          If I have the bad case of the shits, maybe I'd consider it.

          • @tshow:

            If I have the bad case of the shits, maybe I'd consider it.

            Only time we've used the service - the sort of gastro where you're spewing/shitting every 5 mins and cant drink even a drop of water for a few hours…. gets to a point where you call the doc or go to ED. But going in a car and waiting 5 hours in the ED waiting room is less than ideal ;).

            • @Skramit:

              the sort of gastro where you're spewing/shitting every 5 mins and cant drink even a drop of water for a few hours…

              Mate, I just throw on my CamelBak, bring a couple of protein bars and camp that toilet like there's a brand new iPhone launching.

  • used them a few times, they turned up when expected and were quite good at their job. Saying that, as one of them said, they are really just to get you over the immediate need so you can get to your regular doctor.

  • The last 3 times I called at my house we couldn't even get someone to come. They said they were too busy.

    At my parent's area, they take a few hours.

  • We recently booked a doctor using the app for on a Sunday morning, and the doctor arrived after a couple of hours. I wouldn't hesitate to use the same service again if needed.

    • It's no different to booking an appointment with your local GP and having to wait 4 hours for the appointments, only for the GP to say "go to emergency". There's always a level of 'best guess' for parents whether to take their kids to ED or not. Home doctor service is no different.

  • Booked in one night, was told it would be about an hour.

    They never turned up, got a phone call a few hours later saying no one would turn up and that there was no one available in my area anyway. It wasn't an emergency so it wasn't a massive deal, partner was sick and couldn't leave the house long enough to get to an actual doctor, while complaining of stomach pains.

    If it was an emergency I would have taken him straight to the hospital.

  • Used them about 5 times, and been pretty happy each time. Quickest time was less than half an hour, longest about 2-3.

    Still goes without saying I wouldn't rely on it for something life-threatening

  • Big fan. One doctor actually diagnosed my basal cell carcinoma on site(I thought it was an infected bug bite). Asked for a photo because he was a lecturer at the local uni. Calmed me down, explained it was pretty much nothing cancer, wrote a referral letter for my GP the morning after.
    Great for when you can't get to the GP, aren't even sure it's serious and/or don't want to go to the ED.
    Can be long wait times.

    EDIT: wouldn't use it for a baby or anyone under 5 even. That's just gambling. It's triage at best and kids that young don't know how/can't explain bad they feel. Too much risk.