Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 13192

healthdirect Australia

(Question No. 624)


Dr Southcott asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 21 September 2011:

In respect of healthdirect Australia, in July and August 2011, how many calls were (a) made to (i) the after-hours GP helpline, and (ii) a triage registered nurse, and (b) triaged to (i) a general practitioner telephone consultation, (ii) follow-up by usual general practitioner, (iii) an emergency department, (iv) a medical deputising service, and (v) Triple Zero (000).


Ms Roxon: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

In respect of healthdirect Australia:

(a) (i) Callers cannot directly access the after hours GP helpline. Patients who call healthdirect Australia in the after hours period1 will initially be triaged by a registered nurse. If the nurse determines the patient will benefit from a GP telephone conversation, the caller will be transferred to a telephone-based GP.

Therefore, the most appropriate nurse triage disposition to assess the number of calls made to the after hours GP helpline is 'Speak to Telephone GP'.

 

Number of Calls

Registered Nurse Triage Disposition

July 2011

August 2011

Speak to Telephone GP

12,367

12,381

 

(ii) The number of calls made to a triage registered nurse in July and August 2011 were 70,303 and 70,858 respectively.

(b) (i) The most appropriate healthdirect Australia nurse triage disposition to assess the number of calls triaged to a general practitioner telephone consultation is 'Speak to Telephone GP'.

 

Number of Calls

Registered Nurse Triage Disposition

July 2011

August 2011

Speak to Telephone GP

12,367

12,381

 

(ii) A registered nurse triage disposition to follow-up by usual general practitioner is not available.

The five most appropriate healthdirect Australia nurse triage dispositions to assess the number of calls triaged to follow-up by usual general practitioner are 'See Doctor immediately', 'See Doctor within 4 hours', 'See Doctor within 24 hours', 'See Doctor within 72 hours' and 'See Doctor within 2 weeks'.

 

Number of Calls

Registered Nurse Triage Disposition

July 2011

August 2011

See Doctor immediately

2,794

3,030

See Doctor within 4 hours

3,681

4,122

See Doctor within 24 hours

5,279

5,767

See Doctor within 72 hours

2,470

2,098

See Doctor within 2 weeks

861

745

Total

15,085

15,762

 

(iii) The most appropriate healthdirect Australia nurse triage disposition to assess the number of calls triaged to an emergency department is 'Attend Emergency Department immediately'.

 

Number of Calls

Registered Nurse Triage Disposition

July 2011

August 2011

Attend Emergency Department immediately

7,248

7,592

 

(iv) A registered nurse triage disposition to a medical deputising service is not available.

Therefore, the number of calls triaged to a medical deputising service cannot be provided.

(v) The most appropriate healthdirect Australia nurse triage disposition to assess the number of calls triaged to Triple Zero (000) is 'Activate 000'.

 

Number of Calls

Registered Nurse Triage Disposition

July 2011

August 2011

Activate 000

1,999

2,041

 

1 The after hours period is 6pm - 8am Monday to Friday, 6pm Friday to 8am Saturday, from 12 noon Saturday to 8am Monday, and on public holidays.