House call doctor in Singapore – a brief history

House Call GP Examining patient

Modern life has a lot of advantages, like fast transport and stable communication. But what about times when there was not fast cars and mobile phones? How did Singapore people communicate with their physician? The answer is really simple – house call doctor. Do you remember how they stand in front of your door with a big smile and their Gladstone bag? If you are too young, it is possible you have never experienced a house call visit.

Now it is hardly possible to see a house call doctor who is visiting your neighbors, for example.

It is not impossible but this is a really rare event. There were times when house call doctors made only home visits during their working hours. General practitioners were visiting every patient who manages to reach them. The reason why they don’t stay in their hospitals is that transport was not developed at all. So if you are sick, walking on foot or riding a horse to visit your physician was impossible. As you can imagine if you are really sick every move will cause you a pain. In addition, transport was very expensive and most people couldn’t afford to have them transported from one place to another. That’s why your home visit doctor had to come. Of course, this was long before emergency numbers and mobile phones. Now you feel lucky that you were not born during this time, right?

General practitioners in Singapore were really general, this means he had to know to treat everything. If he didn’t, there was no one who could help. They had to cope with cold symptoms, childbirths and even surgeries at home. And while cold and high temperatures are something easy to treat, a heart surgery in a home environment is not. That was the reason why home call doctors had a very wide education. They were not specializing in one area instead of most doctors today.

What type of transport home visit doctor has used?

They couldn’t ride a horse because they carry a lot of medicines and glass bottles with drugs. Walking on foot was not possible, too. Imagine that you have 2 different patients at the end of town and have to reach both of them. Walking on foot is too slow and your time will host human’s health and even life. Their safe transportation was so called doctors buggy. This was old buggy with a low center of gravity, the speed was satisfying and there was a space where house call doctor could leave his bag.

The bag was another very interesting thing in the old medicine. Every home visit doctor needed a bag which to prevent all his bottles and drugs from breaking and spilling. The doctor had to be prepared for every occasion because his patients have different health conditions, so only needles and bandages were not enough. The bag was big and steady. These bags were so useful that they are still used by travelers, archaeologists, and others. However, people still call them doctor’s bags.

What does it mean to be a home visit doctor today?

Today most doctors in Singapore are specialists in different areas and general practitioners who make home visits are mostly for people who can’t get outside of their houses due to some health condition. House call doctors are better in knowing their patients in their home environment. They reassure that their patients are calm and safe in the coziness of their own home. Very often knowing your patient and his family is better for his health condition. In addition, home visit doctor like those on https://thehousecallgp.com/ can recommend improvements at home that are going to make his patient day life easier.