On weekends, parents in Tallinn can invite a home doctor’s team for a child up to 12 years of age with acute symptoms - for example, if the parent has not been able to get an appointment to the family doctor or the child has fallen ill on a day off.
Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina explained that while previously it was possible to call a home doctor for children up to 8 years old, the service now will extend to children aged 9-12 until the end of May. "Unfortunately, it has recently become quite common for children to get COVID-19 and parents need support and advice to care for their children. That is why we have now decided to offer the possibility of inviting a home doctor to children up to 12 years of age," said Beškina. "All parents of sick children in Tallinn can call a home doctor on weekends, regardless of their actual place of residence."
The home doctor’s team service is designed to provide parents with reassurance and faster help in the form of a medical examination, while also alleviating the multiplied burden of ambulances. The target group of the home doctor's team is children with acute health problems who do not need urgent first aid, but whose parents may have difficulty accessing a doctor or the recommendations received from the helpline may not be sufficient.
The home doctor's brigade can be called from the Tallinn Ambulance Dispatcher at 6971145 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 pm to 10 pm. Calls are received from 12 noon to 8 pm. Up to ten house calls are appointed during a day and visits completed on the same day.
The house calls are performed by a special medical team in cooperation with Tallinn Ambulance and Tallinn Children's Hospital, which includes a paediatrician or general practitioner and an emergency medicine technician. The doctor of the home doctor's team also has the right to prescribe medications. In order to ensure the safety of doctors and patients during the coronavirus pandemic, the home doctor's brigade is fully equipped during visits.
The main reasons for the house calls of the home doctor's team, which started operating last autumn, are acute viral illnesses. To date, home doctors have made a total of 184 visits, with the average age of patients being 2.2 years.
In the Tallinn city budget, 100,000 euros are planned for the service of the home doctor's team this year.