Urgent health trial
THE State Government will launch a pilot program next month in a bid to reduce the increasing number of people presenting with non-threatening conditions at Perth’s hospital emergency departments.
Premier Mark Mcgowan and Health Minister Roger Cook this week announced the 18-month pilot that will allow patients to bypass the emergency department and book urgent care clinic appointments with a local GP.
The service will be accessible via an online directory and specialised phone number from September 10.
So far 133 GP practices across the state will participate in the pilot, which will be supported through an advertising campaign aimed to raise awareness of the types of conditions that the GP Urgent Care Clinic Network can help with.
Mr Cook said nearly one-fifth of attendances to WA emergency departments in 2017-18 could have been potentially avoided.
All GP Urgent Care Clinics in the pilot will have access to pathology and radiology services. They will also include fully equipped treatment rooms to apply sutures, plastering and conduct minor procedures.
The pilot was developed in conjunction with WA Primary Health Alliance and supported by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners WA Faculty and the Australian Medical Association (WA).
Examples of urgent but non-life-threatening medical conditions include cuts, mild burns, bites, sports injuries, back pain and infections.