June 22, 2023

Urgent medical care in Melbourne’s north

This afternoon, Northern Health hosted a free webinar on urgent medical care in Melbourne’s north.

Dr Loren Sher, Director, Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED), and Neela Konara, Director, Partnerships, discussed two alternative options to attending an emergency department for non-life-threatening emergencies – the VVED and Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs).

The VVED provides emergency care from anywhere in Victoria, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is a first of its kind in Australia where patients are triaged and treated for non-life-threatening conditions virtually over camera.

“We are helping thousands of patients, to access the right level of care, at the right time,” Loren said.

“A lot of patients can be managed through a video. We aim to keep our patients at home and organise management in the community – we can organise eScripts to your local pharmacy, referrals to pathology and radiology, so there’s lots that can be done through video.”

PPCCs provide urgent medical care for people with conditions that require medical attention, but not an emergency response. There are two PPPCs located within the northern catchment.

“That means for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries,” Neela said.

“PPCCs are a place to get the urgent care you need, closer to home, without attending the emergency department. This includes conditions like mild infections, burns and suspected fractures. It is available to anyone and is especially a good option for anyone without internet access.”

Kirra McGaw, Primary Care Liaison Officer, works at Northern Health, and also lives in Mickleham with two young children. She has benefitted from using both the VVED and PPCC during times when she couldn’t get into a GP and didn’t want to visit the emergency department with her sick children.

“I received a really thorough consultation over VVED and I believed the advice I was given which meant I could prevent my son from being admitted to hospital. I was able to endure all of this in the comfort of my own bed next to my son which was great,” Kirra said.

“In another instance, I knew the Craigieburn PPCC took a lot less time to drive to than it was to get to the emergency department. We were seen by the nurse within minutes of arriving before the GP gave a really thorough examination of my son.”

“We got the required medication onsite at their pharmacy and were back home really quick. My mum-anxiety relieved.”

A special thank you to our key partners Banksia Gardens, City of Whittlesea, DPV Health, ECCV, Hume Council, Nexus Primary Health, NORTHLink, Whittlesea Community Connections, Whittlesea U3A and Yarra Plenty Regional Library, for supporting the event.

For more information and to access the VVED, please visit vved.org.au.

To find out more about PPCC and to find your nearest location, please click here.

To watch the webinar, please click here.

Featured image L-R: Mike Masilamani, Senior Communications Coordinator, Public Affairs, Neela Konara, Director, Partnerships and Dr Loren Sher, Director, VVED.