Several medical insurance companies offer medical coverage schemes that include the benefit of unlimited GP visits. The provision is such that the visits are made on a regular basis for daily check-up purpose, dental check-ups, and even grave illnesses. GP stands for ‘General Practitioner’ or ‘General Physician’. He is a trustworthy, local doctor with whom a person is comfortable in sharing his medical history.One of the primary reasons South Africans look into health cover is the skyrocketing price of a simple consultation with their general practitioner. The medical insurance policies allow you to visit your network-registered GP as many times as possible and do not charge any additional costs for it. The doctors provide healthcare services and dispense medication under this scheme without requiring any cash payment to be made to him directly. When it comes to the benefit of unlimited GP visits, usually there is a certain waiting period before the health cover is activated.
Unlimited GP visits cover the following essential features:
- Unlimited appointments and health consultations: The medical insurance providers offer the patients the option of taking health consultation from qualified and experienced practitioners over the telephone 24/7, 365 days a year. The confidentiality of the patient is completely guarded by the insurance company. The patient can call up the GP as many times as required.
- Suitable scheduling: Fast access to a GP can bring additional peace to the patients. The medical coverage schemes offer the option of making an appointment with their GP at a time that would suit them. The consultation is also not limited only to a 10-minute slot as the patients can avail of the consultations as many times as they want.
- Referral to a specialist: In case the patient is looking for specialised services, there’s no need to book an appointment at a doctor’s surgery. If they need further tests or consultations, the visiting GP can refer them to a private specialist if necessary.
- Delivery of private prescriptions direct to your door: The medical insurance companies also have the provision to arrange for the delivery of private prescriptions at the patient’s door. This patient does not even have to leave the house if s/he is feeling too unwell.
- Quality of services: The quality of the GP visit services offered by the medical insurance policies is top notch as the practitioners are highly qualified and experienced.
Importance of having your own general practitioner
1. Acquaintance: Developing a relationship with a doctor will make you feel more comfortable and allow more open communication. Having a regular GP means you will not have to repeat information about the medication you take as he is already familiar with your medical history and has all the necessary information in his medical notes.
2. A generalist doctor: One of the powerful qualities of a GP is that he is a generalist. This means that he does not focus on one particular part of the body or on certain diseases only. They are not specialists such as a paediatrician or ophthalmologist. The knowledge and expertise of a GP encompass a wide spectrum. He is well-equipped to help you with the many physical and mental symptoms that can arise. Issues with one system of your body can affect the rest of your body. An example is chronic lower back pain which maybe manifested as depression. This will be easily detected by a GP.
3. Consultation on preventative health: Health is not just about treating and curing illnesses. It is also about taking sensible, preventative measures in order to ensure you live your life to the best of your health. The various preventative activities that a GP guides his patients throughout their lives are the following:
a. Advice on all types of immunisations to prevent diseases
b. Advice on how to prevent or detect early cancers such as skin checks, PAP smears
c. Advice on how to mitigate chances of cardiovascular diseases, lower your cholesterol level and maintain a healthy weight
d. Regular BP checks
e. Detection of diabetes
f. Prevention of osteoporosis
4. Consistent and coordinated care: General practitioners are the main people responsible for co-coordinating your care if you are taking treatment from other health professionals. This could be a referral to a medical specialist or allied health professionals. The specialist health experts acknowledge the role of the GP and communicate details of any consultations with you to your GP. This way the GP is responsible for continuing and coordinating your treatment.
5. Treatment of chronic conditions: GPs are best equipped to manage chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
6. Local knowledge: Your GP will have detailed knowledge of the availability of services in your area. This is a crucial factor in many conditions but applies especially to cases where the patient suffers from mental health issues and is in need of counselling services.
Visiting your GP can be costly but it is vital for everyone to keep a continuing relationship with their general practitioner as it helps to maintain one’s health. With time and continued visits, general practitioners can deliver better treatment for patient’s diseases and quicken the pace of healing.Prevention is better than cure, so medical insurance companies put great emphasis on covering the provision of unlimited GP visits in their schemes. You can get access to the likes of unlimited visits from general physicians through a nationwide network of doctors.