Mount pleasant accident and emergency hours change

Friday, 18 January 2019

Mount Pleasant residents will soon receive after-hours emergency care from hospitals in surrounding areas due to a reduction in the number of doctors available to provide on-call services at Mount Pleasant District Hospital.

Country Health SA (CHSA) Regional Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Wendy Harvey, said the new hours will come into operation from 4 March 2019.

“Due to a shortage of GPs at Talunga Clinic, the Mount Pleasant District Hospital will no longer have on-call emergency services available 24 hours per day,” Ms Harvey said.

“The Accident and Emergency Service (AE) will have on-call doctors available between 8am and 6pm seven days a week and anyone requiring medical assistance out of these hours should call 000.

“Last year, a total of 820 people presented to the Mount Pleasant AE and less than a third of these presentations were overnight, amounting to an average of four presentations per week.

“Of those 820 total presentations, only two people had conditions that were considered life threatening and just 40 patients needed urgent care.

“While we recognise this will be a change for the community, there are four hospitals that provide 24/7 emergency services within 30 minutes of Mount Pleasant District Hospital including Gumeracha, Mannum, Angaston and Gawler hospitals.”

CHSA Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Barossa Hills and Fleurieu, Debbie Martin, said the Talunga Clinic is privately owned and recruits their own staff.

“Across the state, GPs are contracted to provide medical services to our local hospitals and while the circumstances changed for the local GPs, we continue strive to provide high-quality acute care for the community,” Ms Martin said. 

Talunga Clinic General Practitioner, Dr Bryan Goh, said while the clinic made every effort to recruit high-quality doctors to the service, ultimately an alternative model of safe care was necessary to implement.

"We are committed to providing excellent and sustainable healthcare services to the community and the difficult decision had to be made in order to prioritise patient safety,” Dr Goh said.

Any residents of Mount Pleasant that require medical assistance should call 000 immediately, where an ambulance will transport them to the most appropriate hospital.

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