South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) has funded My Emergency Doctor to provide its unique emergency telemedicine service to residents of South Western Sydney as part of its After-Hours Program. Eligible residents will now be able to access the service at no cost via video or phone call. The service is funded by South Western Sydney Primary Health Network under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network program.
South Western Sydney PHN’s catchment area has a population of close to 1 million people representative of Australia’s vibrant cultural diversity. Spanning seven local government areas in a sprawling growth corridor across metropolitan and rural areas, South Western Sydney residents speak over 130 languages, with Arabic, Vietnamese and Cantonese being the most common. The region is also home to the largest number of Aboriginal residents in metropolitan Sydney.
In addition to being assessed and treated by experienced doctors, patients can access prescriptions, X-ray and pathology referrals and My Emergency Doctor will arrange emergency patient transport to hospital if required. With patient consent, consultation summaries can be sent from My Emergency Doctor to the patient’s GP which outline the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan and case outcome.
My Emergency Doctor will be supporting South Western Sydney’s non-English speaking community with the ability to conduct consultations in multiple languages via the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Patients or their carers will need to be able to communicate the language for which they require a translator, their return contact phone number and their Medicare card number in English.
Founder and Medical Director of My Emergency Doctor, Dr Justin Bowra, said My Emergency Doctor had worked in collaboration with GPs and Primary Health Networks nationally to complement primary care pathways since 2016. “I am thrilled that our telemedicine service will now be assisting the diverse population of South Western Sydney with their medical needs in the after-hours period when they cannot reach their regular GP,” said Dr Bowra, who has worked in Emergency Departments at both Liverpool and Bankstown Hospitals.
SWSPHN Chief Executive Officer, Dr Keith McDonald PhD, said My Emergency Doctor would complement the existing care provided by the patient’s regular GP who should always be the first point of contact for those needing non-emergency medical care.
“It’s natural to be anxious and unsure where to turn when you or a loved one needs medical care after your regular GP’s practice has closed for the night or the weekend,” he said.
“Our message is: there are options available besides the Emergency Department at your local hospital. My Emergency Doctor is convenient, accessible and no appointment is needed. Importantly, the service provides you with continuity of care because with your consent, your nominated GP can be sent a summary of your consultation.”