GP Urgent Care is continuing to help reduce unnecessary emergency department presentations by giving patients a greater choice when they need their urgent healthcare needs met.
The 18-month GP Urgent Care Network Pilot, which went live in September last year, was born from the current WA Government’s Urgent Care Clinic election commitment.
It allows patients living in metropolitan Perth and the Bunbury area to book an appointment with a GP at a nearby general practice instead of going to a hospital emergency department when they need treatment for an urgent but not life-threatening illness or injury.
Due to its shift away from a stand-alone urgent care centered model, it has helped to create a level playing field for practices to participate – with more than 140 practices now in the network pilot.
Leeming Medical Centre Practice Manager Gaytri Devi Kurella said it was great to be part of this emerging sub-specialty of urgent care across the primary care landscape.
“We are thrilled at the feelings and expression of relief from patients who are nervous about visiting and waiting times in emergency departments as their immediate issues like injuries, eye problems, feeling unwell can be managed at the designated GP Urgent Care surgeries,” she said.
“The Urgent Care concept, along with incredible experience of our Principal GP, has actually made our surgery more dynamic and a happening place.”
To assist in the planning and development of this model of urgent care, that recognised the capacity and capability that existed within general practice, WA Primary Health Alliance facilitated the important voice of primary care at the discussion table. This included independent GPs from a range or general practice business models, the Australian Medical Association of WA and the Royal Australian College of General Practices WA Faculty.
The model, developed and delivered by WA Primary Heath Alliance in partnership with WA Health, uses existing capacity and capability in general practices.
WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Primary Care Innovation & Development Bernadette Kenny said halfway into the pilot, it was proving to have a positive influence.
“Not only does the pilot reduce the burden on our state’s emergency departments, it also provides opportunities to develop relationships between practices, emergency departments and diagnostic providers,” she said.
“This model is a sustainable and efficient way to deliver urgent care, and a reminder to people that their GP is more than capable of managing their urgent care needs.”
To book an appointment, visit www.gpurgentcare.com.au or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
The public is reminded that in a medical emergency, they should always call 000 or go to their nearest emergency department.