The report appears to be terrified of making any conclusive statements but seems to go along with the most common criticism of the WIC, that it increases activity on the hospital campus:
Overall it appears most likely that while treating some patients who would otherwise have gone to the ED, the Centre has drawn more patients to the hospital campus and then to the TCH-ED than would otherwise have been the case.
Unlike cranky doctors here at RiotACT we think more people getting treated than would otherwise be the case is probably a good thing.
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Ms Gallagher with her usual sunny disposition to these issues has this to say:
“The original aims of the WIC were to fulfil an unmet health care need in the community, better meet projected demand for health services, and develop innovative strategies to recruit and retain a professional multidisciplinary workforce and to relieve pressure on the public hospital system.
“My own view after reading the report has been that the WIC has met three of these aims very well with the only aim in question, being that of relieving pressure on the public hospital system, and in particular the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital.
“The report concluded that it is likely that the overall impact of the WIC is a net increase in emergency department activity. This is suggested to be likely due to the WIC resulting in people going to the Canberra Hospital campus when they may not have otherwise done so. The Government will seek feedback as to whether an alternative location for the Walk-in Centre is appropriate as this has been an area of contention in the past.
Err, hang on. So by relocating the WIC you’re going to take people who need emergency room treatment and make them transit to that treatment?
If you’ve got strong views on this send them in to email@example.com over the next six weeks.