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Mackay residents won’t need to visit the ER with minor ailments like hiccups, sprains, blisters, warts or prescription refills during the silly season.

Instead, additional after-hours doctors will be rostered on across Mackay to cater to the demand for non-emergency medical care after-hours.

House Call Doctor state manager Keith Jennings said the Mackay Base Hospital emergency department was always under pressure over Christmas, the recent closure of the Mater After Hours would only add to that.

“With the closure of the Mater After Hours in Mackay we were requested to fly in additional support which we have been able to do.

“With that additional support we have been able to expand our service area in Mackay and service a greater region over that Christmas and New Year period.”

The additional doctors allocated to the Mackay region will service six new areas around Mackay including Mirani, Walkerston, Homebush, The Leap, Balnagowan, and Deveruex Creek.

Last Christmas, House Call Doctors responded to nearly 7000 calls across the state during the seven days between Christmas and New Year.

Patients were treated for conditions from migraines, through to flu-like symptoms, heat stress and skin rash.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said on average, of the 155,000 emergency department presentations across Queensland public hospitals every month, 32 per cent were ailments a GP could treat.

“Queensland emergency departments are seeing more and more patients needing care for urgent and complex conditions, and people seeking care for minor ailments put pressure on our hard-working ED staff,” the spokesperson said.

“Our EDs see presentations for acne, hiccups, ingrown nails, blisters, warts, sunburn, sprains, prescription refills, medical certificates and contraception management.

“While they may well have required some sort of medical attention or other clinical attention, the emergency department is not the right place for these kinds of ailments,”

As Christmas approaches, Mr Jennings said the company was expecting about 10,000 calls to the service.

Original Source: Daily Mercury | 22 December 2018