HELP AT HAND: Hello Home Doctor Service Ben Biltoft with  Hamid Taghipour.
HELP AT HAND: Hello Home Doctor Service Ben Biltoft with Hamid Taghipour. David Nielsen

Home doctor service working day and night to ease the burden

WHILE most are enjoying some downtime, after-hours medical team Hello Home Doctor Service is working day and night.

The multi-award-winning service is Ipswich based and offers a range of services in the home.

"I started it two years ago, I could see the need for it in the community. We go to the home, also to aged-care facilities and we specialise in medical support to those with a disability,” Founder Niraj Shekhawatia said.

The service starts from 6pm and operates until 8am. On weekends, Hello Home Doctor operates from noon through to Monday 8am. On public holidays, the service operates 24 hours a day.

"It takes a load off the public hospital accident and emergency department and people are treated in their own home, which they like,” Dr Shekhawatia said.

"We are now available via an app, which is free to download for smart devices, and we have one for the doctors only and another app for the public.”

Those in need of the service can access it online, via the app or by phone on 134 100. The service bulk bills.

"We provide a full report to the patient's GP in a timely manner. We are the only service that covers every suburb of Ipswich. We have expanded the service over last year to Forest Lake, Beenleigh and across to North Brisbane. The plan this year is to rollout the service to major cities and towns in Queensland,” Dr Shekhawatia said.

Dr Shekhawatia is passionate about medical services and in particular, the creation and ongoing development of Hello Home Doctor Service.

"We have two people go out on call, the chaperone and the doctor. The chaperone is usually a student in medicine, paramedics or nursing. We have a team of five or six going out through the week and weekend those teams grow to 10,” he said.

Over the two years of operation, Hello Home Doctor Service has seen in excess of 40,000 patients. Dr Shekhawatia believes about 30 to 40 percent of those would have attended the hospital if the service did not exist.

Hello Home Doctor Service took out the City of Ipswich Business Awards categories of 2017 New Business of the Year and last year the Innovation Business Award.

"We were so honoured to take out these awards. The most recent was wonderful as it recognised the work that has gone into the development of our own software. We have developed our own booking system that fully integrates across the various platforms. It is our hope that we will be able to sell this system to other health providers around the world. It gives us a reliable and easy to use system,” Dr Shekhawatia said.

"We have a deep commitment to the care of our patients, and we grow with the needs. No one is just a number to us. We ensure all staff are trained and oriented to our way of operating.

"People are always so pleased and relieved that the service is local. I have a high number of doctors who would like to work for us. It does not matter if it is hot, cold, storming or raining, we do not stop.”

The team carries "starter packs” so patients can start treatment immediately until they can get to a pharmacy.