Emergency medicine and "acute" general practice: comparing apples with 0ranges

Sue Ieraci, Paul Cunningham, Janet Talbot-Stern
2000 Australian Health Review  
Emergency Departments (EDs) operate at the interface between the inpatient and ambulatory sectors of health care. Because of shared funding between the Commonwealth and States for ambulatory care, there has been intense focus on the ED patient population, and the potential to shift the locus of care for non-inpatients. One of the frequently cited models for the provision of after-hours GP services is the Balmain General Practice Casualty (GPC). This paper analyses the GPC model, looking in
more » ... el, looking in detail at casemix, clinical quality, waiting times and cost-effectiveness. It is argued that the services provided and the casemix of the patient population of GPC and EDs are distinctly different. Cost-effectiveness for GPC has not been objectively established. Health service planning should recognise the distinct but complementary roles of general practice and emergency medicine. Evaluation of alternative models of service provision should critically examine the available evidence, and comparisons should be based on a precise analysis of equivalent services.
doi:10.1071/ah000152 pmid:11010567 fatcat:ccvu5uriejhjzia6abvpgjliny