GPs vs Hospitals: Who to Call? ( Momimhar posted on August 21st, 2015 )


There are many paths you can take when you are sick; what you should do will usually differ depending on the specific circumstances you are facing. If your condition is life threatening, you need to call an ambulance. Otherwise, it can be tough to know whether the GP (General Practitioner) or the hospital is most appropriate. If you don’t know who to call in any particular situation, here are some things you should consider – stick this on your fridge or in your diary for fast access; you never know when you might need it.


The severity of your condition will be a significant indicator as to who you should call when you are sick. If you have the flu or any kind of viral or bacterial infection, you are probably better off talking to your GP, as these are relatively minor conditions. If you are suffering from more serious symptoms, such as fainting or trouble breathing, then you should definitely consider calling your local hospital.


The duration of your illness, as well as its severity, can determine who you should call or where you should go. If you are displaying symptoms that have lasted more than a week, the hospital should be your first contact. Anything before this should warrant a call to your local GP, who may be able to help you by prescribing appropriate medication.


Younger children are at greater risk of having a more severe reaction to conditions that may barely trouble teenagers or adults. If a child is sick, take into account the symptoms they are showing as well as their age. Any child that is younger than six months and seems to be displaying symptoms such as fever or vomiting should be taken to the hospital straight away.


Immediate Attention

If you require immediate attention, definitely call the hospital or try to get yourself to the emergency room as fast as possible. If you are calling on behalf of another person and you can’t move them or get them to the services they need, you can always call an ambulance to come and take care of them. Home doctor services such as Doctor To You are another option if you think your issues are not severe enough for emergency services to be called.

There are many different things you should consider before calling or visiting your GP or your local hospital, and the factors listed above are some of the more important. It can sometimes be difficult to make such a decision, especially if you are sick yourself and not functioning properly. If you are in a position where you don’t think you can make an informed decision, do not be afraid to ask a friend or family member to help you out.

Are you a GP? Alternatively, do you work at a hospital? What are the most common mistakes your patients make when deciding where to go for their particular ailments? What do you do when you have to make such a decision? Why? Leave your tips, advice and experiences in the comments section down below – your comment might just help someone else out of a pinch!

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17 responses

  1. Lisa Rios says:

    This is some great & useful information that everyone of us need as we all tend to succumb under pressure under different circumstances particularly when the condition is life threatening one. I think calling an Ambulance will be the best solution when you think you are not sure about what can be done.

  2. Dogvills says:

    For non emergencies, we always go to a GP. Doctor To You sounds like a great service. I would prefer that the doctor comes to us rather than spend hours waiting at a doctor’s clinic.
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  3. This is a very useful post, especially if someone has young children at home (though I had a moment yesterday when my husband slipped on wet tile that I wondered if I would have to make a call).
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…Hashtag-o-rama! #LiveinPrana #MeatlessMonday #Running #Giveaway #KittensMy Profile

  4. Liz Mays says:

    We definitely tended to contact the hospital for the more severe things. It is pretty difficult to decide sometimes.
    Liz Mays recently posted…How To Prepare For School Pictures + #FallBackToSchool #TwitterPartyMy Profile

  5. I don’t like hospitals and so far haven’t needed to ever go to one.
    Bonnie @ Living a Fit and Full Life recently posted…Cleopatras Choice Adovia Mineral Skin Care ReviewMy Profile

  6. Jamie says:

    Great tips!! Any more with the high price of deductibles, you really have to do your homework on where to go.
    Jamie recently posted…Happiness Happens In Life – Don’t Miss It! #HappinessHappensMy Profile

  7. Liz Mays says:

    Your comments about age are so true. What one can fight through at a certain age could prove to be too much at another!
    Liz Mays recently posted…How To Prepare For School Pictures + #FallBackToSchool #TwitterPartyMy Profile

  8. chrissie says:

    Thank you, all above sound advice
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  9. I have family that thinks everything is a reason to go the emergency room. This definition would be lost on them.

  10. Maggie says:

    I typically try to avoid the hospitals at all cost. Our GP is on call, so we can call him day or night and he will call us back within a few minutes and tell us what she thinks. Hospitals are for emergencies only in my opinion.
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  11. In my opinion hospital all the way, because you never know the severity of the problem. In the other hand is good to know there are other alternatives.
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  12. These are all important things to consider when trying to determine your best options. I’m really liking the concept behind Doctor To You too!
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  13. Jonathan Key says:

    I’m not a GP nor do I work at a hospital. Very interesting information.
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  14. Elizabeth O. says:

    We normally head over to our GP for the usual illnesses, but if there’s something that we really want to gt checked, we go to the hospital instead.

  15. It’s good to know that there is an easy option for non emergency cases. I will look more into this.

  16. katrina g says:

    great information! i’ll have to save this for later.

  17. Rosey says:

    I’m loving that there are so many considerations for medical things these days. The non-emergency home visits or even the online doctor visits do hold appeal to me too!

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