"Triage process"

About: Joondalup Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I find it very inefficient that during a recent visit to ED with a lower leg DVT (deep vein thrombosis) I was put in a wait queue with people with minor illnesses such as colds, etc. The wait time was 4-5 hrs. I knew I required a Clexane injection and asked the nursing staff if I could be accommodated by the out-of-hours GP. I felt they were very dubious to provide advice, so I advised the triage clerk and went to the GP next door with a family member. When I arrived at the out-of-hours clinic he was happy to provide the necessary medication and ensured I visited my own GP the next day. The department was empty and I asked the doctor a question - “why was the ED so busy with minor issues and he was so empty?”. I believe he replied it concerned money and that Medicare pays the top rates to hospitals. 

Having lived in the UK, it was always the responsibility of the triage staff in A&E to assess emergencies and filter minor illness to the on-site GP. If this was part of the assessment process at the triage front counter, in my opinion, you would not encounter the current wait lists that exist in the WA system. It is my understanding that GP bulk billing for Medicare is less expensive than ED hospital bulk-billing. 

I do also believe people should pay the same costs as GP attendance or have the option to bulk bill in emergency situations which would reduce attendance unless there was a real need. 

Responses

Response from Paul Taylor-Byrne, Acting Director of Clinical Services, Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus

picture of Paul Taylor-Byrne

Dear matarey75

Thank you for posting your feedback and thoughts on the Patient Opinion website regarding your recent presentation to Joondalup Health Campus Emergency Department (ED). We are sorry to read that there was a 4-5 hour waiting time during this period. We would like to take the opportunity to discuss your feedback with you and also explain the separate role of the After Hours GP service. If you would like to do this, please contact our consumer liaison officer on 08 9400 9672 who will be happy to organise this.

Yours sincerely

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Paul Taylor-Byrne

Deputy Director of Clinical Services – Acute Care

Joondalup Health Campus

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