Ballan & District Hospital will no longer offer an urgent care clinic, instead offering a new emergency treatment room in its GP clinic or sending patients to Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh.
In a community update, Ballan & District Health and Care acting chief executive Rowena Clift said the current urgent care clinic service was unsustainable.
"Currently, our Urgent Care Clinic is seeing an average of six people per week, or one per day, with types of presentations including a fall at home, abdominal pain, lacerations, gastro symptoms. This number is simply not sustainable," she wrote in a statement.
"Because of this, we will be diverting urgent care services out of the hospital by the end of 2019 and reallocating funds to provide the same standard of care in a new emergency treatment room within the GP Clinic, which will cater for patients between 8am and 8pm."
Ms Clift said the new arrangement would provide the same standard of treatment for more than 80 per cent of patients the urgent care clinic currently see.
Clinic staff will be given extra training and the service will explore other opportunities to for GPs and practice nurses through My Emergency Doctor, a telehealth service using specialist emergency doctors.
Two new GPs have recently started working at the clinic, and BDHC is looking at new business models and structures to ensure the GP clinic can better serve the community in to the future.
Emergency cases will continue to be taken to either Ballarat Base Hospital or Bacchus Marsh Hospital.
"The way we operate has become unsustainable. We must change for the future," Ms Clift said.
She said primary care through GPS, allied health and aged care services were central to the service's model of care and would continue to be a focus.
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The loss of the urgent care clinic comes after radiology and dental services at the cash-strapped health service closed in the past two months due to staff losses.
"BDHC understands the delivery of dental services in Ballan is an important component of care. We have recently interviewed two potential dentists and are exploring a number of options for the delivery of dental services in Ballan," Ms Clift said.
"By evolving to a sustainable services model, we can prioritise delivering contemporary, viable services where there is demand. Resources have been allocated to services that will deliver financially for the Ballan and district community and meet the health care needs of the community."
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