What our Panel said about after hours care... December 2016

This month, responses showed there was some confusion about the best options for after hours health care, with the majority of people indicating they would ask ‘Dr Google’. Interestingly, COORDINARE is about to launch a communications campaign to help raise awareness of the after hours medical options available within the region.

In coming weeks, you may notice radio, TV and community posters providing information to people about how to get help in the after hours period. Three key messages encourage people to:

  1. first determine the availability and after hours arrangements of their GP, or nearest general practice (details can be found at www.nhsd.com.au)
  2. if that is not an option, call the after hours GP Helpline (1800 022 222) for free medical advice and support
  3. in an emergency, they are advised to call 000 or to attend the emergency department of their nearest public hospital for a serious illness or injury.

After hours billboard

It was also interesting to us that everyone said they had a regular GP, and most preferred to see only this person when needing care. Understanding this relationship will be important when we start thinking about how teams of health providers might work together to provide care in future.

And finally, when we look at the ONE word used to describe a recent health care experience, 62% of people described their recent experience with a positive word… ‘CONFIDENT, UNDERSTOOD, RELIEVED' for example. Others were not so glowing so it will be good to understand this better and there is clearly work to be done.