Dr Tomek ‘Thomas’ Piorkowski, MBChB (Pret 2006)

A house call/home visit practice for Pretoria East for the frail, the elderly, the disabled, the terminally ill, and the housebound. 

Please note that due to a lack of demand, this practice no longer operates on a full-time basis.  Patients will be seen exclusively on Saturdays by appointment only.  CURRENTLY THIS PRACTICE DOES NOT ACCEPT NEW PATIENTS, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO THE SECTION ‘ALTERNATIVE HOUSE CALL PROVIDERS’ TO FIND A HOUSE CALL PRACTITIONER.

Click here to download the patient intake forms

For account queries or to book an appointment, please call the practice number: 010 500 3214.

You may also WhatsApp (preferred), sms or call me directly 065 975 5032 or email pretoriaeasthousecalldoctor@gmail.com.  Please leave a voice mail should you choose to call; I generally do not respond to miscalls.

Please note that I do not run an emergency response service, so for emergencies you will need to call an ambulance/emergency house call nurse; for that I recommend Sister On Call (Sr Dreyer), their numbers are: 083 305 4175, 082 341 0701

It is generally difficult for me to answer the phone due to my workload so please leave a voice mall should you choose to call and I am not available- please do not phone the number over again and again.

For more details on the practice, please read below:

Dr Tomek ‘Thomas’ Piorkowski – General Practitioner, House Call Doctor, Home Visit GP, is a home visit doctor bringing mobile GP services to homes in Pretoria East, since July 2017. This practice exists to assist housebound patients with the management of complex and difficult medical conditions, in circumstances where it is extremely difficult to take the patient to a doctor.  My typical patient is very ill with multiple problems, is often in the end stages of life, and requires a lot of care and diligence in their medical managements.  Therefore most of my consultations last between 45 minutes and an hour.

If the patient has a relatively minor problem and is already known to the practice, you are welcome to first ask my advice via Whatsapp, SMS or email.  Alternatively, for minor problems do consider rather calling a Primary Health Care house call nurse such a Sr Dreyer of Sister On Call; the contact numbers for Sr Dreyer are: 083 305 4175, 082 341 0701

My fees are currently as follows:

First visit: R1 500 for the first hour (consisting of a R500 callout fee and R1000 hourly consultation fee), thereafter R250 for every 15 minutes up to a maximum of R 2 500.  The minimum booking for a first visit is one hour and it often runs over that.

Second visit that is less than 30 minutes: R1 000 (consisting of a R500 callout fee and a R500 half-hour consultation fee).

Second visit that is more than 45 minutes: R 1 500.

Second visit that is more than 75 minutes: An extra R250 will be charged for every extra 15 minutes up to a maximum of R 2 500.

Providing new prescriptions or filling in forms and sending them via email or Whatsapp: R250 for every 15 minutes required for me to complete the work.  Please note that I do not renew chronic 6 month prescriptions without a checkup.

Advice given via Whatsapp, SMS or email is free, as well as minor prescription changes to chronic scripts.  Patients who request telephonic advice will be charged at R250 per 15 minutes.

The costs of injections, ECG, drips, etc are included as part of the callout fee.

Please note that for travel outside of Pretoria East (such as for example Centurion or Pretoria North), I may charge an additional travel fee.

This practice no longer takes medical aid, but my practice manager can claim from medical aids for a refund on the patient’s behalf once payment is done.

Patients are welcome to ask to pay their fee in instalments over 3 months or as arranged with my practice manager.

To book an appointment, preferably send an sms or WhatsApp to 0659755032 or email pretoriaeasthousecalldoctor@gmail.com –

Please note that all new patients to my practice will have to fill in some forms either before the appointment or at the time of consultation.  The form is available below in PDF and Word formats, and should be filled in and emailed to myself, or emailed my practice manager at shaz@kitrin.com, or handed in at the time of consultation.

Click here to download the intake form

Testimonials

To read reviews of my service, please visit my profile on RateMD by clicking HERE

Description of Service

I am a GP who provides routine, scheduled medical services in people’s homes in and around the Pretoria East area, focusing specifically on the frail, the elderly, the disabled, the housebound and the terminally ill.  I provide these services on 2 – 3 Saturdays of every month, depending on demand.

Although I do not provide emergency or urgent care, my practice is a viable alternative to calling the ambulance for every health problem for your elderly relative, and I assist with managing chronic diseases, maintaining a happy and comfortable aging/disease process.

Many of my patients have been forced to either use emergency units or to constantly phone their old GP for telephone-only consultations, but these are not good options for patients who need careful, long term attention to their medical needs, with the end result being extra pain and suffering when you really just want someone to be as comfortable as possible.

I work in collaboration with many home nursing agencies that operate in Pretoria and can also assist with finding home nurses and caregivers for families who have begun to struggle to look after their loved ones in the home.

Not everyone wants to die in a hospital and so I also assist families with pain and disease control at the end of life as well as making plans to make the process of dying at home uncomplicated for the families involved, as well as being available to do all the necessary paper work required in order to apply for a death certificate.  Nursing a dying relative at home used to be a normal part of human life but in our 21st century comfort zones many people assume that the only place to die is in a hospital or hospice, but dying at home is an option to consider.

What do I do?

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.

Currently I do not treat emergencies though – please go to an emergency unit or call an ambulance (such as Sister on Call – 083 305 4175, 082 341 0701) 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.

Please note that I also no longer do insurance examinations; for a home insurance exam visit, please rather contact Dr Nothnagel on 082 325 3599 or emailing jaco@medservice.co.za

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 don’t do surgical procedures but I can freeze suspicious skin lesions.

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 specialist guidelines and the patient’s preferences.

Here is a small sample of conditions I’ve treated doing house calls:

  • Dementia symptoms
  • Joint pains
  • Pneumonia
  • Urine infections
  • Heart infections
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic stroke care
  • Urine catheter changes and management
  • Ingrown toe nails
  • Cancer pain
  • Coma
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Thyroid problems
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Insulin dependent diabetes

Why house calls?

House calls are a necessary service to people who are unable to easily access a GP practice or a hospital.  This sector of the market has been deliberately ignored and underserviced by medical aids and by government.   By providing a streamlined, low-overhead house-call only GP service, I help patients have access to healthcare, as is their right according to the constitution, in a way that is reasonably affordable  but still financially sustainable as a working professional.

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 Moreleta Park, during office hours (8am to 4pm on weekdays, Saturdays 8am to noon).  I can serve other areas but I will charge a travel fee.

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:

http://isystems.hpcsa.co.za/iregister/PractitionerView.aspx?FILENO=1081103

Videos I’ve made

My YouTube channel has various videos on medical topics, click here to visit it.

External links

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tomekpiorkowski

Alternative house call service providers in Pretoria

Currently I am closed for new patients and only see consider using one of the following alternative service providers:

Sister On Call (Sr Dreyer): 083 305 4175, 082 341 0701

Dr Philip Nothnagel: 082 325 3599

Dr Edmund Schutze: 072 086 6162

Old Video on My Equipment Bag

Here is a video of what I used to bring to a house call.  Some of the equipment has been phased out but it still gives a  general idea of what I bring.