- GP Urgent Care Clinic Network pilot starts today and will help ease pressure on busy hospital emergency departments, delivering on an election commitment
- New campaign 'Not all urgencies are emergencies' helps people locate GP Urgent Care for urgent medical conditions in the community and closer to home
- Network provides access to pathology and radiology services and includes fully equipped treatment rooms to apply sutures, plastering and conduct minor procedures
- 190,000 emergency department attendances in 2017-18 could have been potentially avoided with treatment in primary care
The McGowan Labor Government is easing pressure on busy hospital emergency departments with the launch of a new GP Urgent Care Clinic Network, delivering on an election commitment.
The 18-month pilot program with more than 125 participating practices covering around 70 postcodes including the Perth metropolitan and the South-West regions starts today.
GP Urgent Care is supported with a new major campaign 'Not all urgencies are emergencies' to highlight the alternative model of health care for non-emergency situations but urgent medical conditions, in the community and closer to home.
The advertising campaign will run on television, outdoor, radio and digital channels across Perth metropolitan and the South-West region.
Under the pilot the GP Urgent Care Network will offer appointments from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. These hours support figures that show the majority of attendees to hospital emergency departments for non-life threatening medical conditions occur during the day.
Patients will also have access to pathology and radiology services across the Network, including fully equipped treatment rooms to apply sutures, plastering and conduct minor procedures.
Types of illness and injury that can be treated at urgent care clinics include:
- gastrointestinal illnesses
- musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries
- eye, ear, nose and throat conditions
- stings, rashes and wound infections; and
- abrasions and minor lacerations.
The pilot, delivered in partnership with the WA Primary Health Alliance, will be evaluated for future direction of urgent care models within the State.
The establishment of Urgent Care Clinics is a State-wide initiative and there will be a range of models used to deliver in regional areas because we know a one-size-fits-all approach will not work everywhere.
Planning to determine the potential models of urgent care for regional areas is already underway.
To book a GP Urgent Care clinic appointment visit http://gpurgentcare.com.au or call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.
For more information about the campaign visit http://health.wa.gov.au/gpurgentcare
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"GP Urgent Care Clinics will give people an option when they are seeking urgent medical attention but not necessarily in a life-threatening situation.
"This will help ease pressure on our busy hospital emergency departments ensuring people have access to appropriate care in the community and closer to home.
"This is about putting patients first and providing a better connection of care between hospitals and general practice, which was a key recommendation in the Sustainable Health Review."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"We know that the majority of people who go to hospital emergency departments for non-life-threatening medical conditions arrive during the day. Having this new option gives those people more choice, it is another example of the McGowan Government putting patients first."
"We are still seeing too many patients with non-life-threatening medical conditions at our busy emergency departments who could have been treated by General Practitioners. The GP Urgent Care Network is a fresh approach to solving this from the McGowan Government.
"This is an exciting and innovative new approach to ease the pressure on our busy emergency departments. I'd like to thank our partners at the WA Primary Health Alliance who helped us develop this inventive model of care.
"Remember 'Not all urgencies are emergencies' and from today there are over 125 GP Urgent Care Clinics across Perth and Bunbury waiting to hear from you. Simply search GP Urgent Care or call HealthDirect to book an appointment and experience this new model of primary healthcare."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500