New health care hub to ease wait

BANKSTOWN’S newest health care service is expected to help ease pressure on busy emergency departments while giving the community the care they need.

The Urgent Care Service (UCS) is a collaboration between NSW Health and South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) and part of a State Government plan to improve wait times in busy emergency departments (EDs), which also included a new Taskforce working to ensure hospitals continue to deliver timely, high-quality care now and well into the future.
State MP for Bankstown, Jihad Dib, said it was an important win for the local community, “offering a better experience for patients while easing pressure on our busy emergency departments”.
Care will be provided by general practitioners and nurses and will be free for Medicare card holders and community-based asylum seekers at the Bankstown Medical and Dental Centre, seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
To access the service, patients should call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. A registered nurse will assess the patient’s condition and guide them to the care they need. This could include booking an appointment at the service on the patient’s behalf, referring them to another service such as virtualKIDS, or, where required, escalating their care to NSW Ambulance or advising the patient to attend an ED.
The service is equipped and staffed to treat a range of illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening, including gastrointestinal illness or urinary tract infections; minor injuries like closed fractures or simple lacerations; and procedures like suturing, drainage of abscesses and basic fracture management.
SWSPHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald, said the service would complement the role of GPs by providing short-term, episodic care for urgent, non life-threatening conditions, while also relieving pressure on emergency departments.