Wagga GP After Hours Service celebrates 15 years

Today the Wagga GP After Hours Service (WGPAHS) celebrated 15 years of providing access to local GPs outside normal business hours for the community of Wagga Wagga.

The service is operated by a strong collaborative of dedicated and experienced local GPs working together to provide a quality healthcare service in the after hours period.

Glenrock Country Practice GP and Chair of the WGPAHS Cooperative, Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda, said that access to the WGPAHS helps to reduce the pressure on the emergency department (ED) at Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital and minimises waiting time for people by offering a more appropriate primary care alternative.

“The WGPAHS is for non-life-threatening treatment for people who cannot wait to see their GP during regular hours and do not need to go to the ED.

“For the local community and visitors to our town, this continues to be an important service”, Dr Shenouda said.

During its 15 years, the WGPAHS has provided over 100,000 patient consultations, with most of these via people coming to the clinic in Morgan Street but also with GP visits to aged care facilities and patients’ homes.

“I would like to congratulate the doctors and staff of the WGPAHS for 15 years of great service; a service that I’m confident will continue for many years to come”, Dr Shenouda said.

“Our family use the after hours GP service often. I love that this service is available in our city. It is a very convenient service and being able to see a GP after hours is an excellent idea rather than using the emergency department at Wagga Base.”  – Ms Sue Turner, patient

“I have used the after hours doctors quite a few times. This service is so important to the community. Every time I come the ladies at the desk are always nice and friendly and the doctors are always so professional.” – Ms Sarah Little, patient

The Wagga GP After Hours Service Ltd was established in March 2003, after the Riverina Division of General Practice received funding from the Federal Government to establish an after hours service with a clinic. A cooperative was formed with 20 doctors from Wagga Wagga and two doctors from Coolamon to provide a private billing after hours service to their patients, and any visiting or new patients requiring after hours primary healthcare.

Currently participating in the clinic are 49 GPs from 12 general practices who work on a rotating roster.

Chair of the WGPAHS Cooperative, Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda, and some of the GPs and staff of the WGPAHS met today for lunch and to cut a celebratory cake.

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Cristy Houghton