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After hours clinic popular

Thursday, 24th July, 2008

Almost 500 patients have used the city's new after hours GP clinic since it opened in January.

The aim of the service is to provide access to medical care during weekend hours when regular GP practices are closed. 

Those working at the clinic say that patient feedback has been very positive, with many commenting that the service had given them with an alernative to waiting in the Emergency Department.

However, in recent weeks a trend has been found where some patients have been coming to the clinic first instead of going to their regular doctor.

Staff said they wanted to let people know that the service does not replace regular GPs and urged those requiring non-urgent medical attention to consult their doctor first. 

There has also been some confusion as to the types of treatment available at the clinic, which is located adjacent to the Emergency Department at the hospital.

Patients requiring urgent attention need to go to the Emergency Department for medical problems such as chest pain, breathing difficulties and bleeding.

Work Cover patients and those requiring completion of forms for RTA and Centrelink will not be given an appointment. 

An example of the types of problems that may be addressed at the clinic include sore throats, ear aches, mild vomiting/diarrhea, eye problems, urinary problems, wound infections, limb pain and flu-like symptoms.

A brochure with details about the clinic is available from the hospital's Emergency Department and the Barrier Division of General Practice website, www.barrierdivisiongp.com.au.

Operating hours are 4pm to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Appointments can not be made during the usual operating hours of GP practices.

To make an appointment phone the Emergency Department on 8080 1363 or phone the Clinic during operating hours on 8080 1120.

The Broken Hill After Hours GP Clinic is a joint project of the Barrier Division of General Practice, an incorporation of the Riverina Division of General Practice & Primary Health, and the Greater Western Area Health Service.

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