Healthy outlook for GPs

Alistair Vickery.
Alistair Vickery.

But local residents now have 24-hour access to doctors every day of the year.

And the access has never been more vital, according to the head of a local health organisation.

Northern suburbs GP Alistair Vickery, chairman of the not-for-profit Perth North Metro Medicare Local (PNML), has highlighted the round-the-clock role GPs now play in the district.

It’s a role that’s become essential as a rapidly growing population puts pressure on the Joondalup Health Campus Emergency Department.

‘It’s important for people to be able to access a GP when they need help, at any time of the day or night,’ Prof Vickery said.

‘Without help, their condition might get worse or they could end up waiting for hours at a hospital, when they could have been quickly treated by a GP.’

Prof Vickery, a primary health care expert at UWA, also underlined the importance of home visits, particularly for patients who were immobile or too sick to travel.

‘In April we awarded a tender to a GP service to extend their after-hours home visiting service to Two Rocks,’ he said.

PNML, funded by the Federal Department of Health, has helped create more than 17,000 extra GP appointments through its After Hours Program since it formed two years ago.

Visit pnml.com.au for details.