Liberals’ cut to after-hours GP clinics a blow to patient care in WA

July 14th, 2016 by: stephen

 

* The Liberal Government has cut funding for after-hours GP clinics at Perth hospitals

* The RPH clinic has now been forced to close, putting pressure on the ED

* After-hours GP clinics provide urgent care late at night so patients don’t have to go to emergency departments

Perth hospital emergency departments will come under even greater pressure as a result of the Liberal Government’s decision to cut funding to GP after-hours clinics.

The multi-million dollar program started under the Gallop Labor Government and was a Liberal Government election commitment to continue the operations of GP after-hours clinics at Fremantle, Rockingham and Royal Perth hospitals.

It provided $100,000 a year to clinics to stay open in the evening and $200,000 a year to open past midnight to serve patients needing urgent care but not requiring emergency department services.

Comments from Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook:

“These cuts are a backward step for health services in WA.

“Closing these clinics will put even more pressure on overloaded EDs that are already struggling to cope with demand.

“After-hours GP clinics provided an important alternative to going to the ED. They took patients away from the EDs so the hospitals could concentrate on the more acute patients.

“Around the world, hospitals and GP clinics are becoming more integrated to provide better services. Why is the Liberal Government chopping best practice in WA?

“This announcement is bad news for hospitals and bad news for patients. The Liberal Government has forgotten about patients as they look to further cut the health budget.”

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