Patients needing urgent care in Stawell will no longer be out of pocket for their treatment, thanks to planned changes to the funding model.
The Stawell Regional Hospital will be able to utilise a new funding model that will eliminate any surplus fees thanks to its new status as a Grampians Health campus.
Grampians Health Chief Strategy and Regions Officer Dr Rob Grenfell said in the past, patients needing the attention of a doctor in Urgent Care, were charged a fee for the services.
“The fee varied depending on the treatment required from the doctor on duty,” Dr Grenfell said.
“The fee was then refundable through Medicare except for a $50 surcharge at the doctor’s discretion.
“The new Grampians Health board wants equity across all of its campuses and is changing the funding model to support Stawell and district residents.”
Dr Grenfell said the changes would support those requiring urgent care only.
“We need to be mindful that Stawell’s Urgent Care is there for emergency care only.
“The team working there are all trained to deal with emergency care and treatment.
“If people need to see a GP about ailments, medical conditions and non-urgent care, then they need to make an appointment with their doctor.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas
“This is a great outcome for the Stawell community, given the important role the urgent care centre plays in providing emergency care.”
“Grampians Health opting to cover the $50 surcharge means those needing to access emergency care can do so for free, helping to remove a potential barrier.”