Key recommendations for the inclusion of general practitioners into evacuation centres

Key recommendations

Recommendation 1

Recommendation 1: Keeping local general practices operational

Local general practices impacted by a disaster must be supported to remain open and in operation where possible. This allows continuity of GP healthcare services to the local community for routine health matters and management of lower-acuity presentations that are better seen by GPs in their usual general practice than in an evacuation centre or emergency department. 

To support general practices to remain open, PHNs may initiate various strategies based on the local context and characteristics of the disaster itself. These strategies could include:
  • staying in regular contact with general practices in the area to:
    • determine their ability to scale-up service provision through extended hours or increased capacity for patient load
    • determine whether operational practices have the capacity to provide clinical and administrative space to clinicians and staff from practices unable to provide services from their usual location
    • share information about the status of other health services, such as pharmacy, imaging, pathology, residential aged care facilities, allied health and other specialists
  • funding to:
    • provide extended hours of operation to support additional patient load (eg providing infrastructure to deliver telehealth if a practice is non-operational)
    • extend patient loads by seeing patients from practices that are not operational.
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