THE closure of after-hours GP services at Midland Hospital on Friday, November 30 is not expected to affect Midland patients needing after-hours health care or put pressure on the hospital’s emergency department.
This assurance from the East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) comes despite no other GP operating later than 9pm in the immediate area.
The St John of God Midland Public Hospital based after-hours clinic operated by 360 Health and Community, announced its closure in October.
The clinic was open 365 days of the year until 10pm.
A list obtained by Echo News details 25 clinics open after 5pm in the hospital’s catchment area including practices from Mount Lawley and Northam.
There are four after-hours practices located in the suburb of Midland – Swan Medical Group, open until 6pm Monday to Thursday and midday Saturday and Sunday, Midland Railway Workshops GP Superclinic, open until 8pm Monday to Thursday and to 2pm Saturday, AHG Super Clinic Midland, open until 6pm Monday to Friday and St Andrews Medical Group, open until 6pm Monday to Thursday and 1pm Saturday.
Echo News understands Midland Railway Workshops GP Superclinic is the only practice of the four who extended their hours as a consequence of the hospital located GP’s closure.
The next closest GP is Swan View Family Practice, listed as being open until 10pm Monday to Friday.
However when contacted, the practice said its opening hours were 6pm to 9pm and until 7pm Saturday and Sunday.
While there are two practices on the list open until or past 10pm, they are located in Morley and Mt Lawley.
An EMHS spokesperson said the closure of the clinic at St John of God Midland Public Hospital (SJGMPH) was expected to have limited impact on the hospital’s emergency department.
“SJGMPH will closely monitor ED presentation volumes and will review and increase resources in response if required,” they said.
“SJGMPH has confirmed that it is prepared to manage any short term increase in presentations to its ED following the closure.”
Negotiations are currently underway to review and extend local after-hour clinic operating hours.
“In addition, the hospital has spoken to a number of Midland-based GP practices to confirm they
can accept new
patients to their after-hours services, including Swan View Family Practice, Midland GP Superclinic, AHG Super clinic, and Swan Medical Group,” the EMHS spokesperson said.
“These clinics are actively reviewing their operating hours with a view to expanding their after-hours commitment.”
The EMHS confirmed a clinic deemed to be “after-hours” was any clinic operating after 5pm, regardless of how long the clinic stayed open.
In an online statement, the 360 Health and Community after-hours GP said current patient records would be transferred to another GP with a patient’s permission.
“It is with sadness that we advise our 360 Midland After Hours GP, located in St John of God Midland Public Hospital is permanently closing its clinic on Friday, 30 November 2018,” the statement said.
“Over some years now, 360 has provided for the After Hours health care needs of the community at this clinic and we thank you for your support over this time.
“360 Health and Community has greatly appreciated your patronage and we will continue to support the community through our Aged Care services, Mental Health, Partners in Recovery and Chronic disease programs.”
A full list of GP practices working after hours in the local and surrounding catchment area and details of GP home visiting services are available by calling the hospital.
By Claire Ottaviano