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PPCCs Diverting Thousands From Emergency Departments

16 April 2023

The Andrews Labor Government’s Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs) are taking pressure off emergency departments across the state – saving tens of thousands of Victorians a long wait in emergency, and making sure hospitals are freed up to treat the sickest patients.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the Glen Waverley PPCC, one of the 21 centres now open across the state which together have treated more than 42,000 patients – more than half of whom would have otherwise attended an emergency department.

Treating around 200 patients a week, the Glen Waverley PPCC has cared for more than 4,300 Victorians since opening late last year, giving residents in Melbourne’s east an alternative to visiting the Monash Medical Centre.

The PPCCs are giving Victorians who need urgent but non-critical care an alternative to visiting a busy ED, with centres open after hours, seven days a week and on public holidays.

The centres accept walk-ins and bookings, with doctors and nurses on site to treat common conditions like mild infections, lacerations, fractures and burns, as well as diagnostic services including pathology and medical imaging.

Data from the PPCCs shows that lacerations, abdominal pain, and infections such as tonsilitis and urinary tract infections are the most common presentations – conditions that do not necessarily require emergency care.

Around the state, 21 of the Labor Government’s 25 PPCCs are now open – with the final four PPCCs in Mildura, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Bendigo, and Sunbury to open in coming months.

While all the PPCCs offer the same quality care to patients, the Royal Children’s Hospital PPCC will operate differently – dedicated only to referrals from their emergency department.

Since opening, a third of PPCC patients have been children – with all centres around the state ready to treat Victorians of any age.

The Labor Government has invested more than $70 million to deliver this free service to all Victorians, with or without a Medicare card – alongside other measures to ease health system pressures, like expanded Victorian Virtual ED and Better at Home programs, Ambulance Victoria’s Secondary Triage Service and GP respiratory clinics.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Thousands of Victorians have now been treated at our Priority Primary Care Centres – directly taking pressure off our busy emergency departments and making sure everyone gets the care they need more quickly.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

With 21 centres already open and another four on the way, our PPCCs are giving Victorians another option for non-emergency care – ultimately taking pressure off our hardworking doctors and nurses.”

Quote attributable to Member for Glen Waverley John Mullahy

“This new centre has been huge for our community – it means people can be seen and treated quickly, without the stress that comes with waiting in a busy hospital emergency department.”

Reviewed 16 April 2023

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