Sprains need prompt treatment to reduce swelling and help the injury heal as fast as possible. A fully booked local GP clinic may cause you to visit the nearest emergency department for medical attention. Injuries such as sprains are assessed as non-life-threatening. You could be sitting in pain while you wait for a doctor who is overwhelmed with patients.
Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCCs) rolled out in October 2022 as a part of a Victorian Government initiative to address this issue. The aim is to fill the service gap between general practice and emergency department. At a PPCC, your sprain – or other urgent but not life-threatening condition – will be treated on the same day, including after-hours or at weekends – and all at no cost.
The Sunshine PPCC located at 423 Ballarat Rd is open every day of the week, from 8am until 10pm. Appointments aren’t essential, although they are preferred and can be made at very short notice.
“We say to people if your condition doesn’t need to be treated quickly, then make an appointment to see your regular doctor,” said PPCC owner Dr Simon Benson.
“But if it’s urgent, then book with us online or by phone and come see us.”
The centre’s GPs and nurses can treat many conditions, from suspected fractures to gut issues to earaches and allergies. Coughs, colds and COVID-19 can be treated at the Sunshine City Respiratory Clinic, which Dr Benson also runs and is located in the same building.
“Coming down with a migraine or experiencing a nasty insect bite shouldn’t have to mean spending hours in the emergency department because you can’t get an appointment for your regular GP,” he said.
“PPCCs are a really useful alternative. We are fully linked in with all the other services a person may need, such as x-rays or pathology.
“And, of course, if the situation is more serious than first thought we are in direct and constant contact with the hospital, and with Ambulance Victoria. There’s no risk of anyone missing out on care they need – wherever they need it.”
To book an appointment visit sunshineppcc.com.au
Visit the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network website for more information on priority primary care centres and GP respiratory clinics.
Remember, too, that these are not your only options. If you need to talk to a doctor urgently, you can contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department at vved.org.au or, if you’re not sure what type of care you need, call Nurse-on-Call any time on 1300 60 60 24.
Image caption: The Sunshine Priority Primary Care Centre’s Dr Simon Benson, with the Sunshine City Medical Centre practice team. Photo: Leigh Henningham.