Program for faster GP access launched

Stock image.
Stock image.

AN urgent care clinic network targeting patients with non-life threatening conditions to help busy hospital emergency departments has started today.

The GP Urgent Care Clinic Network pilot will provide access to pathology and radiology services, including fully equipped treatment rooms to apply sutures, plastering and minor procedures.

More than 125 practices in about 70 postcodes in WA, including the Perth metropolitan and South-West regions, are involved in the 18-month pilot network.

The pilot program to allow patients to bypass the emergency department and book urgent care clinic appointments was announced by the State goverment last month.

The network targets patients with non-life threatening conditions to help busy hospital emergency departments.

Advertisements will be rolled out to support the network, with a campaign “Not all urgencies are emergencies”, to highlight the alternative model of health care.

Health Minister Roger Cook said this option would give more choice for patients with non-life threatening injuries.

“We know that the majority of people who go to hospital emergency departments for non-life-threatening medical conditions arrive during the day,” he said.

“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.”

Health Minister Roger Cook and Premier Mark McGowan. Photo: David Baylis

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 or injury which 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, abrasions and minor lacerations.

The GP Urgent Care Network will offer appointments from 8am – 8pm everyday, based on the hours of the day the majority of patients with non-life threatening medical conditions arrive at hospital emergency departments.

To book a GP Urgent Care clinic appointment visit http://gpurgentcare.com.au or call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.