Urgent care clinic would provide quality care and reduce burden on emergency depts

Released on 26th November 2015

cohealth is calling on all major parties in the Victorian election to ease the burden on emergency departments (ED) by fully supporting the proposed Sunshine Urgent Care Clinic.

cohealth, together with Western Health, this year developed a proposal to establish and pilot a comprehensive ED diversion model to provide services for non-urgent patients in a community setting in Melbourne’s west. The model would offer specialist programs to marginalised people who could attend the Urgent Care Clinic and reduce the rate of frequency of ED presentations.

In Australia, 30% of people attend EDs each year and the rate is growing at 2% per annum. A recent study into ED presentations at Melbourne hospitals found 20% of the patients studied could have been treated by a GP.

cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain wants to see the benefits of this proposal realised for people and services in the west. ‘We know that there is a consistent tendency for people from disadvantaged communities to come to EDs more often, and that clients from marginalised backgrounds would get more appropriate care in a community health setting that provides wrap-around services. Add to that, unprecedented population growth in the west, and the resulting impact on all services and it is clear there is a genuine need here,’ Ms Morgain said.

The proposed Urgent Care Clinic would be located close to the Sunshine Hospital ED and be linked to the Sunshine Health Wellbeing and Education Precinct. The clinic would:

  • manage high volume, low acuity, non-life threatening conditions away from the ED
  • provide clinical advice, particularly related to navigation of the health system and access to specialist health, and
  • provide medical in-reach to aged care residents, reducing transfers by ambulance to ED for cases that can be managed in the aged care facility.

cohealth is a leading provider of community health services at more than 30 sites across Melbourne’s western, northern and inner suburbs. cohealth was formed in May this year through the merger of Doutta Galla Community Health, North Yarra Community Health and Western Region Health Centre.

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