In Health

South Australia Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade

Priority Care Centres Easing Pressure On Emergency Departments

Victor P Taffa

More than 500 patients have been diverted from the state’s emergency departments during the past two months, thanks to the Marshall Government’s Priority Care Centres.

SA Health figures show that the Centres are gathering momentum with more than 100 patients transferred to the Centres in just the past week.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said that, while there was a lot of work to be done to end ramping for good, the Centres and initiatives such as the Home Hospital Program are starting to make an impact.

Home Hospital projects are reducing repeat presentations to emergency departments by linking patients to tailored care within their home and the community.

“Ramping is unacceptable, and it is heartening to see such promising results. We are starting to see some green shoots from these programs which are easing the pressure on our emergency departments.” Minister Wade said.

“Centres are one of a suite of measures we have introduced. Winter is a period of high demand on our emergency departments and I have no doubt the stress on our system would have much higher without these programs in place.”

4 centres, Hackham, Hindmarsh, Elizabeth and Para Hills, are in key areas where there is demand for services for less urgent conditions but patients are often transferred by ambulance to emergency departments.

This makes a significant contribution to reducing ramping as these patients are less urgent and are avoiding unnecessary time in hospital.

SA Health Chief Executive Dr. Chris McGowan said the results were demonstrating that the Centres were easing pressure on emergency departments while providing non-acute care in the community.

“This makes a significant contribution to reducing ramping as these patients are less urgent and are avoiding unnecessary time in hospital.” Dr. McGowan said.

“Feedback from those who have used the centres has been incredibly positive and I would like to thank all the staff from South Australian Ambulance Service Adelaide.”

Primary Health Network, our Emergency Departments and the PCC’s for their hard work and willingness to work collaboratively and try something new.

“We would not see such great results without their commitment to providing their patients with the best possible care and treatment options.” Dr. McGowan said.

Background (as of 3 October 2019)

  • 543 people attended a PCC
  • 203 referred by an Emergency Department
  • 336 referred by South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS)
  • 19 minutes the average waiting time at a PCC
  • 95 % of patients would recommend this service

Most common conditions treated have included minor sprains, wounds and cuts, suspected fractures, urinary tract infections and mild upper respiratory infections.


SA                   South Australia

PCC                Priority Care Centres


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