New call for health

Tuesday, 30 March, 1999 - 22:00
IN a first for WA, the Health Department is planning to launch a telephone triage service in mid May as part of a joint State and Federal Government initiative.

Members of the public will be able to call a free call 1800 number to gain advice from a registered nurse about after hours health services.

The nurse would be authorised to give further information about where to go for assistance. Health Department project manager Peter Collard said the service would not make an over-the-phone diagnosis, but “will determine the level of attention needed.”

“The nurses step callers through clinical protocols to determine the immediacy of attention needed. For instance, whether they should see a doctor as soon as possible, call a locum service or attend an emergency room,” he said.

“There are many more after hours GP clinics in the metropolitan area now than before including one in Armadale, Joondalup, Hollywood Hospital and St John of God Subiaco. They normally operate from around 5pm to 11pm during the week and from around 1pm to 11pm on Saturdays.

“The 1800 number will give further information about health services such as these available in Perth, where it is otherwise relatively limited to locums and emergency rooms. It will offer more options and better access to health services.”