Why Don’t Docs Do Housecalls Anymore?

Some of my friends from the UK and Holland (and myself being from the USA) were talking yesterday about the phenomena¬†of housecalls made by doctors, whether or not they still do them where we live, and why or why not. According to my friend Karen (who lives somewhere in England), her doctor makes housecalls to her on a regular basis. She has a spinal cord injury and doesn’t have accessible transport. So because of this, whenever she needs to see her doctor, her doctor comes to her. Never the other way around. She says that housecalls are still very common in the UK and that up to 50% of patients are still seen by their doctor in their home, instead of going into the clinic themselves. Now as a resident of the USA, this sounds refreshing! She even went on to add that housecalls are gaining in popularity (this were her opinion at least).

Now being that I as well have a spinal cord injury, knowing this tidbit of UK-information makes me yearn for the Golden Years of the USA when doctors still made housecalls. Even though I have a modified mini-van which I can drive, it would still be nice to have the option of him¬†visiting me instead. But no, I’m pretty sure if I called my doctor’s office and requested a housecall, the secretary would laugh in my face! And I’m not 100% on this, but I’d bet housecalls went out the window once everyday Americans could afford to buy a car; probably somewhere between the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. I remember seeing quite a few old movies where the doctor would come to visit you if you happened to live in the Western-era or in the Victorian-era, but that was a long, long time ago.

What about where you live? Does your doctor ever make housecalls?

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