General practitioners' perceptions of after hours primary medical care services: a Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia study

Hegney, Desley G., Fahey, Paul and Nanka, Annette (2004) General practitioners' perceptions of after hours primary medical care services: a Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia study. Rural and Remote Health, 4 1-9.

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Author Hegney, Desley G.
Fahey, Paul
Nanka, Annette
Title General practitioners' perceptions of after hours primary medical care services: a Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia study
Journal name Rural and Remote Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-6354
Publication date 2004-06-24
Year available 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 4
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Deakin University
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
320100 Medicine - General
730209 Rural health
730307 Health policy evaluation
111717 Primary Health Care
111708 Health and Community Services
Formatted abstract
Introduction:
This article reports on a project, undertaken in 2002 in the regional city of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, that investigated the viability of establishing an after-hours primary medical care (AHPMC) service.

Objectives:

To ascertain GPs' perceptions of the adequacy of AHPMC services in Toowoomba.

Design:

Thirty GPs were randomly selected to participate in face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview tool.

Setting:

Toowoomba, Australia is the largest inland non-capital city in Australia. It is located approximately 130 km west of Brisbane, the State capital city and is a referral centre for patients from the rural and remote communities of south-west Queensland.

Participants:

15 male and 15 female GPs.

Results:

While the majority of participants believed the current provision of AHPMC in Toowoomba was adequate, they stated that the provision of AHPMC services was onerous and, given a choice, they would prefer to refer all patients seeking care between 2200 and 0800 hours to an Emergency Department (ED). Similar to GPs who work in rural and remote areas of Australia, they believed that AHPMC work was poorly remunerated, had an adverse effect on their lifestyle and could endanger their personal and their patients' safety.

Conclusion:

The findings of this study confirm previous studies into the perceptions of GPs to the provision of AHPMC in a regional city. Additionally, while the GPs in Toowoomba have the options of referring after-hours patients to an ED and being part of a large GP after hours cooperative, their opinions on after-hours work did not differ significantly from those expressed by GPs working in rural and remote areas of Australia. The GPs in this study, given the option, would prefer not to undertake an AHMPC service provision between 2200 and 0800 and many had chosen not to do so, instead directing their patients at this time to one of the two EDs located in Toowoomba. 
Keyword after hours primary medical care
Australia
general practitioners
lifestyle
patient safety
personal safety
regional
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Article no: 287. First published in the international electronic journal, Rural and Remote Health [http://rrh.deakin.edu.au/] Citation: Hegney DG, Fahey P, Nanka A. General practitioners' perceptions of after hours primary medical care services: a Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia study. Rural and Remote Health 4 (online), 2004: 287. Available from: http://rrh.deakin.edu.au/

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 04:27:16 EST