Updated: 01/28/2014 02:22

GP First- an initiative to encourage people to visit their GPs first

GP First- an initiative to encourage people to visit their GPs first

Changi General Hospital, CGH is offering a $50 subsidy at its emergency department for patients who see a general practitioner (GP) first, if they have non-emergency conditions. 

More than 132 GPs have joined GPFirst, a partnership involving GPs and general hospitals. 

It's piloted by Eastern Health Alliance. 

Its Group CEO, T.K Udairam says the patients volume at the CGH's A&E department can be better managed with this programme. 

"The GPFirst programme is to try and persuade patients who come to our A&E those who are P3 - those who were a bit anxious about their conditions but actually could be quite comfortably and safely be seen by GPs by going to the GP first. This will help us to reduce the load in the A&E department for this type of A&E cases which really do not need the A&E specialists care."

He adds that around one third to half of the patients who visit CGH's A&E department have non-emergency conditions which could be treated by GPs. 

The GPs will make a referral to CGH if the condition is deemed serious enough and this entitles the patient to the $50 subsidy. 

To increase the awareness of the programme, a website has been set up for the members of the public to access information such as an updated list of GP clinics they could go to under this programme, as well as specific advice on common medical conditions which can be treated at home or at the GPs. 

For the complete list of participating GP clinics, the public can visit the programme website atwww.gpfirst.sg

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