by Jessica Matthews
I have been keen to tell you about the NEW Walk-in Specialist Emergency (WiSE) Clinic at Macquarie Park for some months! I reached out to WiSE when they first opened in March 2017 as I was really impressed by what I read – it appeared to be a game-changing facility right in the heart of our area. I was to keen to explore it and see what they offered. Was it really all I read it would be? Between studying Nursing for 2.5 years and my sisters’ stories of working as an ICU Cardiovascular Nurse at St Vincents Hospital, I have developed strict criteria when it comes to medical attention for my family!
Both my fiance and daughter suffer from asthma, with my 5-year old recently being admitted to hospital for it, so I had plenty of questions for Kate, the manager at WiSE, on that topic. I was keen to see just how WiSE could help before a hospital visit was necessary and Kate was easily able to explain how the service fits into our current healthcare options.
Who are WiSE Emergency Clinic and what do they offer?
WiSE was formed by a group of specialist emergency doctors and healthcare managers to deliver acute and urgent care outside of the hospital environment. They see themselves as the medical professional team in between a GP and hospital.
In NSW, 70% of hospital emergency department presentations are not admitted. Like me, the reason some might go to emergency is because we feel that is the only option. Now that WiSE has opened, patients with acute illnesses who require urgent care or specialist consultation have a new option outside general practitioners and hospital-based emergency departments.
WiSE Emergency Clinic provides immediate specialist care for but not limited to:
- Minor falls/trips
- Suspected fractures
- Sporting injuries
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Dental emergencies
- Mild asthma
- Problems in early pregnancy
- Fevers – adult and child
- Rashes and skin conditions
- Workplace injuries
- Overseas and international students
How does WiSE work?
When you enter, you first visit the reception/hot desk and are immediately greeted by a senior medical specialist. This is the person you explain your symptoms to, and who will administer your treatment. I love that there is no waiting after being triaged, or after being moved to a bed. Once greeted, you are looked after immediately.
No appointment is necessary but patients are welcome to call and see how busy they are. They have a dedicated paediatric area with toys for the kids, an acute care area for adults with state of the art facilities and tea, coffee and biscuits available at all times. Their goal is to open more clinics around Sydney to help relieve hospital emergency departments. I’m particularly impressed by the dental and ultrasound hours – 10am to 10pm, as many people need this kind of care outside standard office hours; e.g. concerned pregnant women.
My Real Life Scenarios
I have attended Emergency a couple of times with my daughter over the years and after visiting WiSE, I can see that they could have dealt with some of those attendances. Such as last year, when we thought she had either broken or sprained her wrist, we went to Emergency and were of course, triaged quite low. 8hrs later, x-rays showed that it was only a sprain. If we had attended WiSE, my daughter could have been diagnosed on site in a much shorter time frame. Alternatively, If we had attended the GP, we would have needed a referral for the X-ray, looked for somewhere that could fit us in, wait to get results, and then head back to the GP, all with a child in pain!
Another occasion I could have used WiSE was when my daughter was only 2 and dislocated her elbow. It was really scary as she couldn’t move her arm and was in a lot of pain. WiSE could have assisted us with this, in a quicker time frame than it took in Emergency.
It’s true that in both scenarios, there might have been patients in Emergency who needed more urgent care than we did, hence the value of WiSE, relieving pressure on Emergency departments and relieving patients with a much faster turn around- especially when the patient is a child!
What is the cost per consultation?
The cost of visiting the WiSE clinic is $200 (which is not covered by Medicare or health funds) however this includes your full medical assessment and any X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and blood tests if required, with little to no wait time, all on site. Considering some private hospitals might cost almost $400, I think its quite reasonable price to pay- particularly when children are involved and when the only other option is the Emergency department. Should you need medication while there, this is also provided along with scripts and of course, WiSE will update your GP on your visit.
At other times, if you do not need to see a Dr, however have a referral from a GP or specialist, WiSE can offer bulk-billed diagnostics. X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds.
WiSE are happy for people to phone them to see if a visit is recommended, or if it’s 9.30pm and knowing they shut at 10pm, as sometimes they said they can stay back to help you.
- Phone: 9216 7676
- Address: 33-39 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park (entrance via Khartoum Road where they have FREE parking for WiSE patients)
- Open 7 days a week 10am – 10pm (365 days a year!!)
- Check out their website here or Facebook page here.
PLEASE NOTE: If you or your family are experiencing any conditions that may be life-threatening please call 000 immediately.