Care there when needed thanks to after hours grants

  5 February 2016  NWMPHN   

More people in Melbourne will be able to access appropriate medical care when and where they need it thanks to grants to local health providers from Melbourne Primary Care Network (MPCN).

13 health organisations received over $800,000 in grants, which will directly improve access to medical care outside of normal business hours by increasing existing services and helping new services enter the market.

The 13 recipients are:

Modern Medical has just opened a dedicated afters hours clinic opposite Spotswood, offering bulk-billed GP services during the evenings Sunday to Friday.

Modern Medical Operations Manager Rushan Hewawasam said a $100,000 grant from MPCN was crucial to finally getting the after hours clinic open after being planned over a decade ago.

Giving patients better access to care in their own community and taking strain off local hospital services are key drivers for the new clinic.

“We’ve looked at the area for some time and there’s limited after hours services, and when we investigated a couple of years ago we found that a lot of people we’re accessing hospitals for low category care after hours, particularly at Williamstown Hospital,” Mr Hewawasam said.

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said having accessible after hours care is crucial for healthy communities.

“People don’t stop needing health care just because it’s in the evening, on a weekend or a public holiday, and if local services aren’t available or aren’t known about then hospital emergency rooms become the only option,” A/Prof Carter said.

“Waiting around in hospital to be treated for issues that could be dealt with by a GP isn’t good for patients, hospitals or the health system as a whole. With these grants more people will be able to get the right care in the right place at the right time – within their own community.”