Five new Priority Primary Care Centres to be built in Victoria to free up emergency departments

Five new GP-led priority primary care centers have been set up across Victoria in an effort to relieve the relentless pressure on the state’s emergency services.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday the $ 14.3 million move amid ongoing struggles for the state’s health and high number of hospitalizations due to Covid cases and flu.

Victoria’s emergency services are more active than ever after admissions hit a record 486,701 in the last quarter, up 5.1% from the previous quarter.

Mr. Andrews said the five centers they are building are for people who are not in an emergency but are in need of treatment.

“We know how difficult it is to find a wholesale billing doctor, we know how difficult it can be to get an appointment with a family doctor,” he said.

Camera iconVictoria Premier Daniel Andrews (left) and Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas (right) announce five new priority primary care centers led by GP NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

“Right now, people have no choice. If you can’t find a doctor for wholesale billing, the only place to go is the hospital emergency room and it’s not always the best place to go.

“Giving people choice, giving people options, is really important for better health outcomes.”

“The global pandemic has put the country’s health systems under unprecedented pressure and this is part of our master plan to provide the care Victorians need.”

The type of conditions that will be treated in the centers include burns, cuts, grazes, broken bones and infections, so emergency room may be reserved for seriously ill people.

The five clinics will begin to open gradually from September to November. They will operate seven days a week and will be open 16 hours a day.

Each site is expected to treat approximately 300 patients each week.

The five centers will be close to Royal Melbourne Hospital, Northern Hospital Epping, Sunshine Hospital, Monash Medical Center Clayton and Grampians Health Ballarat.

Camera iconPremier Daniel Andrews hopes the move will reduce pressure on the state’s crowded emergency departments. NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr. Andrews said they will build these clinics “as close as possible” to existing hospitals so they can quickly move people who come to the emergency room.

“Some people may actually come to the ER and be told, ‘actually no, instead of waiting here, you can literally turn the corner and you can be seen very, very soon,'” he said. he said she.

“This will reduce the demand in our emergency departments, ensuring that those in need of urgent care can get it faster and avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room.”

Sunday’s announcement came at a touching moment following the experiences of two patients in Melbourne’s East End earlier in the week.

Shocking scenes were documented at Box Hill Hospital where a teenager with cancer waited 27 hours in a corridor and an 83-year-old woman was forced to wait outside all night in a “makeshift tent”.

Box Hill Hospital
Camera iconA tent outside Box Hill Hospital for any patient overflows. Thursday 18 August 2022. David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

State Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas acknowledged the “discomfort” felt by the two patients, but said she was “satisfied” with the hospital’s response.

“I was worried about what I had heard at Box Hill Hospital, so I studied two specific incidents,” she said.

“I would like to underline the discomfort felt by the two patients in the hospital at this time.

“But I am happy with the responses I received that patients were receiving adequate care even though they felt some discomfort.”

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