Northern suburbs GPs in urgent care trial

Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, patients Brendat Brennan and Ruth Johnson, Health Minister Roger Cook, Brookside Medical Centre GPs Ashish Khanna and Romi Ahluwalia.
Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, patients Brendat Brennan and Ruth Johnson, Health Minister Roger Cook, Brookside Medical Centre GPs Ashish Khanna and Romi Ahluwalia.

PATIENTS may be able to get urgent medical care for non-life threatening conditions at 11 northern suburbs clinics rather than going to hospital.

A State Government trial of GP urgent care clinics includes providers located from Girrawheen to Alkimos, and patients were quick to access them with one attending the Beldon practice on the first day.

Under the 18-month pilot, the GP Urgent Care Network will offer appointments from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

The hours support figures that showed most people attending hospital emergency departments for non-life threatening medical conditions did so during the day.

People can seek treatment for gastrointestinal illnesses; musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries; eye, ear, nose and throat conditions; stings, rashes and wound infections; as well as abrasions and minor lacerations.

Belridge Medical Group chief executive Colin La Galia, managing director Vasantha Preetham and practice principal Yamini Preetham with Health Minister Roger Cook (centre) and Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton.

After a patient sought urgent care at Belridge Medical Group on the first day of the pilot, Ms Hamilton welcomed the initiative to alleviate pressure on emergency departments.

“It will not only alleviate the pressure on our emergency department, but may also ensure patients receive the care they need closer to home,” she said.

“As a mum I know how important it is to have access to quality health services when you need them.
“Children and their injuries or illnesses happen at any time of the day or night.

“We have a good hospital in the Joondalup Health Campus, but it has the second busiest emergency department in Australia with over 100,000 presentations annually.”

Belridge practice principal Yamini Preetham said the centre was proud to be part of the network.

“The program is designed for patients with urgent but non-life threatening injury or illnesses to access urgent care appointments with GP clinics, in partnership with allied health providers, within the urgent care network which Belridge Medical Group is proud to be a part of,” Dr Preetham said.

Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton and Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk welcomed a September 10 announcement of more than 125 locations in WA, including those in their electorates.

“This announcement means local Wanneroo residents can access high quality medical care close to home, when they need it the most,” Ms Winton said.

Brookside Medical Centre GP Romi Ahluwalla said the Wanneroo practice was delighted to be part of the health pilot.

“Not all urgencies are emergencies and our practice is ready to provide this much needed service for the local community,” Dr Ahluwalia said.

“We are delighted to become part of the GP Urgent Care Clinic Network offering bulk billing for urgent but non- life threatening medical treatment to people close to their homes.”

Darch Medical Centre’s Caroline Saxby, Leanne Pizzy, Shenaye Morris and Angela Morris with Health Minister Roger Cook and Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk.

Ms Quirk said four locations in her electorate would be convenient for people who needed urgent care for non-life threatening conditions.

“People in our community will welcome this improved access to local healthcare options rather than waiting in emergency departments,” she said.

“They can feel better knowing that hospital emergency departments are being left for those who really need to be there.”

To book a GP urgent care clinic appointment, visit gpurgentcare.com.au or call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

For more information, visit health.wa.gov.au/gpurgentcare.

URGENT CARE CLINICS
Newpark Medical Centre in Girrawheen
The Heights Medical Centre in Alexander Heights
Kingsway Medical Centre, Madeley
Darch Medical Centre
Landsdale Medical Centre
Padbury Family Practice
Belridge Medical Group in Beldon
The New Gumnut Medical Centre in Wanneroo
Brookside Medical Centre in Wanneroo
Banksia Grove Family Practice
Jupiter Health Alkimos