Year’s trial of after-hours GP service

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

A long-awaited after-hours GP service will open at Albany Health Campus by the middle of the year.

The trial service, launched yesterday afternoon, is a collaboration between Albany-based general practitioners and will run until June 2019.

From April, select patients will be able to access an on-call program run by local GPs and experienced nurse practitioners for those in aged care facilities or those requiring palliative care support.

From June, Albany residents will be able to access the GP services after hours next to the emergency department at Albany Health Campus.

The hospital-based service will operate during evenings, weekends and public holidays and treat patients who need urgent care.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the release of the Sustainable Health Review Interim Report on February 27 highlighted a need to improve care in communities to reduce costs and waste, and to reduce the pressure on emergency departments. “This new service is about better access to GP and nurse practitioner services for patients and carers, which means a better quality of care for non-emergency patients and not having to wait in busy emergency departments,” he said.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the new service demonstrated the appetite and ability of local health agencies to come together to find the most effective way to fill gaps in health provision.

“The funding provided by the Australian Government through the Country WA Primary Health Network goes a long way to solving some of the health challenges facing the Albany community,” he said. “As a father with young children, access to an after-hours GP clinic gives me great comfort and I’m sure that the wider community will see this service as a welcome addition.”

WA Country Health regional director David Naughton said he was delighted to provide space in the hospital for the service.

“We will be working closely with them to ensure the new service complements the work of our emergency department,” he said.

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