Specialist ‘access block’ causing elderly ED visits
The Melbourne study involved interviewing 100 patients with a mean age of 82.
Reasons for choosing to go to hospital rather than their GP included difficulty with access to primary care, referral by a third party, fast-track access to specialist care and patient or family preference.
While the majority said they could be seen by their GP the same day or next day for an urgent problem, 35% of participants reported waiting times of more than two to three days. More than half (59%) said access to after-hours care was difficult, although 48% said they