What do patients do when faced with long wait times?
What happens when a patient is referred to a specialist but needs an urgent appointment?
The GP has written a referral, the patient calls and finds out they have a six month to wait for their procedure. What can they do now?
This situation is faced by many patients every day. Waiting times for some procedures is just a reality in some parts of Australia. According to the Government’s most recent Specialist Wait Times Report, non-urgent patients needing general surgery are currently waiting up to 256 days to see a specialist.
So, what can a patient do? A GP may be able to pull some strings if the procedure is critical. But for those that are deemed non-urgent or have limited access to local specialists, a long wait could be unavoidable. With little resources available to inform the patient about what to do next, typically they will wait it out, or in many cases, take the matter into their own hands and search online.
One of Healthshare’s directory features is to connect patients with specialists who have indicated they have available wait times via our support website SpecialistNow. Every month we receive over 5,000 visitors looking to find an urgent appointment. This service is free for patients and can typically help reduce wait times by taking advantage of our directory members and a patient’s private insurance.
So, how are we able to find these urgent appointments?
This is due to our list of premium specialists. Through our one to one connection we can find out what their typical wait times are, what procedures they perform and our team that will call multiple practices to find an open appointment for the patient.
Once a specialist is found that will perform the procedure and is within the distance a patient is willing to travel, the patient returns to the GP for the new referral letter. Patient feedback has been outstanding and you can read about some of these patient stories here.
With over 47% of Australians covered by some form of insurance, many of these procedures can be treated faster and are something we have seen a growing demand for across our online directory.
SpecialistNow is part of Healthshare’s premium profile offering, if you have available wait times and would like to find out more, request a demo here.