I can think of no better way of demonstrating what I can do than to take you through a tour through my doctor’s bags, which contain all the equipment I bring along with me on a house call. Please watch the video just under this paragraph to take a tour through my bags or alternatively continue reading below the video.
Pretoria East House Call Doctor
Dr T Piorkowski – General Practitioner, House Call Doctor, Home Visit GP
A home visit doctor bringing mobile GP services to homes in Pretoria East, since July 2017.
Contact on 072 211 4520 or 065 975 5032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment during office hours or to discuss your case. Please note that this is not an emergency response service – for emergencies that cannot wait for an appointment, please call your preferred ambulance provider.
How to make an appointment
Please note that I do not offer emergency services – if you have sudden chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, altered states of consciousness (such as coma, strangeness of behaviour or seizures), sudden loss of vision or visual disturbances, suicidal thoughts, pregnancy complications, or severe traumatic injuries, then please go to an emergency unit or call an ambulance.
To book an appointment, you can call me on 072 211 4520; if that number doesn’t work, please try 065 975 5032. Please leave a voice mail if I don’t pick up so that I can call you back. I will attempt to do house calls on the same day if you phone me before 10:00 am, otherwise I will generally schedule a house call for the next day.
You may also email email@example.com to book an appointment. Please provide a short description of your problem and allow up to 24 hours for a reply, as I usually only check emails once or twice a day.
Feel free to call me to discuss your condition before making an appointment, if you want to be sure that I can help you with your problem.
For more information about my services, please continue reading the information below!
What do I do?
I come to your home, office, or hotel and do checkups, make diagnoses, and provide prescriptions to treat common medical conditions.
I can also do mobile ECGs, cryotherapy and lung function testing for no additional cost. I can also suture small uncomplicated wounds, if required.
Since starting my mobile practice, I have dealt mostly with severely ill patients in the last stages of their life, commonly having multiple illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, kidney failure, heart failure, etc. I am comfortable with terminal care and I can with pain and symptom control for those patients who have decided they would prefer to die at home. I have also taken over the care of elderly patients who used to go to state hospitals but now are too old or ill to leave the house.
I also have younger clients who simply appreciate having a scheduled home visit and paying an affordably hourly rate for a patient, unhurried consultation. I firmly believe that many medical problems do not fit neatly into a 15 minute consultation and I have spent an hour, often two, helping to sort out my patient’s problems.
Currently I do not treat emergencies though – please go to an emergency unit if you have sudden new chest pain, sudden difficulty breathing, altered states of consciousness (such as seizures or confusion), loss of vision, visual disturbances, suicidal thoughts/ideas, pregnancy complications or severe traumatic injuries.
What does it cost?
There are two billing options available for my consultations: a private hourly rate, and then the medical aid fee-for-service rate.
For 2018, I charge an hourly fee of R400 an hour, plus a home visit fee of R250. The first hour of the first follow up within 2 weeks will be free, charging only a home visit fee of R250. Relevant medical aid codes are provided on the invoice in order to receive a refund from the medical aid according to their scheme rules.
Please note that many of my patients have been very complex, difficult cases and the typical first visit lasts 2 hours.
This is a flat fee. So whether I do a lung function test, nebulize you, do an ECG, stitch up a wound, freeze a wart – my consultation fee is the same. You only pay for my time. Payment can be made by cash, card or EFT at the time of consultation.
As of April, 2018, I now accept medical aids. The billing is handled by a separate company called MPB solutions; new patients who wish to their medical aids to be billed for the visit will first have to register through MPB solutions, which can be done by contacting me or by contacting MPB solutions directly (all their details are available on their website: http://www.mpbsolutions.co.za/ ). Once the patient’s medical aid details and funds are confirmed by MPB solutions, I will then be able to proceed with the house call on a fee-for-service basis. Unlike the flat hourly private rate, this will mean that any service (eg an ECG, lung function test, injection, etc) will be billed. This will end up costing more or less the same as the private cash rate for most patients on most medical aids. For 2018, medical aids will be billed at medical aid rates, although the patient will still be liable for payment should the scheme not have sufficient funds at the time of billing.
For patients who need it, I am also open to negotiating payment plans on a case by case basis.
What do I treat?
I don’t do emergency visits, but otherwise I can treat most General Practice / Primary Health Care needs; basically, things that can wait for an appointment.
I also assist patients who have decided to leave specialist care (for example, state patients who don’t want to attend hospital anymore) and I treat these kinds of patients according to available guidelines and the patient’s preferences.
My flyer has a few more details:
If you’re not sure if I’m the right doctor for you, you are welcome to give me a call on 072 211 4520 or 065 975 5032 between 6am and 6pm and we can discuss whether the case is appropriate for a house call. Please leave a voice mail message if I do not answer.
Why house calls?
I want to provide high quality health care at an unhurried pace at an affordable price.
Before I started my private practice, I did some market research and I found out that this is what people want from their doctor: a doctor who is on time but takes time, has a flat all-inclusive fee which is affordable, provides free follow-ups in case the condition does not improve, and who cares about the quality of his work.
After researching business models to achieve the above, I realised that the key to providing the above is ‘disintermediation’, which is just a long word for ‘cutting out all the middlemen’.
This means cutting out costs, such as rental, staff salaries, medical aid billing systems, water & lights, IT services, etc.
Through the savings I make by cutting down my overheads to the bare minimum, I don’t have to rush patients through my practice to keep the bills paid. Instead, I can see fewer patients for a longer amount of time, while still being able to maintain a high quality of care at an affordable price.
House call only medical practices have proven to be viable business model in the United States, and I’m excited to pioneer this type of practice in South Africa
Where I do housecalls and when
Anywhere in the eastern part of Pretoria, from more-or-less Steve Biko hospital to Rayton, and more-or-less from Montana to Morelata Park, during office hours (8am to 4pm on weekdays, Saturdays 8am to noon).
Please note that I don’t treat serious emergencies such as sudden new chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, altered states of consciousness such as confusion or seizures, sudden loss of vision or visual disturbances, pregnancy complications, and severe traumatic injuries. For serious emergencies, please call an ambulance or go to a 24 hour emergency unit.
I do reserve the right to refuse or cancel any appointment that takes me to an area which I consider unsafe or suspicious, or that is too far from my catchment area.
What to do when your relative passes away at home
I often am called to help make patients as comfortable as possible in the last days of their life, especially those who have decided that they would prefer to pass away at home rather than in a hospital. Exactly what are the steps to take once a patient passes away at home is a question I’ve been asked so often that I made a video about it (which you can find a bit further below); but in summary, for Pretoria East:
- First call your preferred ambulance service to come to your home and confirm death; they will issue a Certification of Death letter (which is NOT the same as a Death Certificate! A Death Certificate can only be issued by Home Affairs.)
- Once you have the Certification of Death, call your preferred undertaker service (your undertaker will not take the body until death is confirmed by the paramedic service or another qualified health care provider.)
- The undertaker will then take the body and will need the details of the patient’s last doctor and the deceased’s ID. (If your relative was one of my patients, please give the undertaker my details.)
- The doctor will then fill in a Death Notice form and a Cremation form (if applicable). I do these free of charge for all my patients (who are not in arrears) but most doctors charge for this service.
- The undertaker will then take the doctor’s Death Notice form and the deceased’s ID to home affairs in order to get a Death Certificate.
- Burial arrangements can then be finalized at this point, because you can’t bury/cremate until you have the Death Certificate.
About Doctor Thomas
Doctor Tomek Piorkowski graduated medical school in Pretoria in 2006. He did his internship at Kalafong hospital for 2 years and then did community service at Mamelodi hospital for 1 year. He then worked a stint at Tembisa hospital emergency unit before moving on to working in private emergency units, mostly at Morningside Medi-clinic emergency unit. After about 2 years of emergency medicine, he worked for a while at the University of Pretoria as a lecturer in physiology while locuming part-time at the PierneefMed GP practice in the Pretoria Moot area. He then worked in Garankuwa at a government clinic, before deciding to go back into private practice in 2017.
To confirm Dr Piorkowski’s current registration as a doctor, you are welcome to click the following link:
Videos I’ve made
Another flyer just to summarise: