Return of the House Call

Return of the House Call

By Dr. Alissia Valentinis, MD, CCFP, FCFP, National Home Doctor Medical Director

A Physician's Perspective on How House Calls are Helping Canadians 

It’s said what was old becomes new again.  When it comes to physicians doing house calls, it used to be the main way to receive health care from your doctor.  Now, most people see their primary care physician in a clinic, but what if you weren’t able to get to that clinic due to illness or mobility issues?

When I was training in medical school, my supervisor would take me with her to see some of her homebound patients who were unable to make it to her clinic.  Those patients were so appreciative of her visit and it was clear they had looked forward to the house call sometimes for days. I noted that regardless of the diagnosis or the treatment, the visit itself was therapeutic for these patients.  It was then I decided that house calls would be part of my practice throughout the rest of my career. 18 years later, I still look forward to my house call shifts when I’m helping patients that otherwise would have a hard time accessing care.  

Mostly, I see elderly patients that have mobility issues such as Ms. B whom I saw last night.  She apologized for her walker being in the way in her small apartment.  Although she was on many medications and had multiple health concerns, she called because she had a urinary tract infection and was told she should be treated right away should this occur.  Ms. B couldn’t stop thanking me enough for coming to her when she needed care – it would have been days before she could see her family physician and she couldn’t imagine going to the ER for something so easily treatable at home. 

If you need to see a doctor, and your Family Doctor is closed, call National Home Doctor on 416 631 3000 for a OHIP covered doctor home visit.

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