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Sacramento apologises for PCC delays

Eyleen Gomez

Doctors at the Primary Care Centre have held more than 1,500 more patient contacts this July in comparison to July last year, the newly appointed Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento said.

New figures reveal there were 9,170 patient contacts with a GP in July 2019, meanwhile this has increased by 14% this year, with 10,691 patient contacts held this year.

But despite this increase, Ms Sacramento addressed concerns raised by Primary Care Centre users, adding: “I can assure the public that I will give the PCC management team all my support in order to provide the best possible service to the community.”

“I would like to apologise for the continuing delays for patients who phone to make an appointment with a GP,” she said, following her first official visit to the Primary Care Centre on Friday.

“Please remember that all these calls now contain a set of questions regarding possible Covid-19 symptoms and therefore each call lasts much longer than it used to.”

“On the positive side, patients should be aware that, in the past two weeks, the number of available face-to-face GP appointments has been increased by 20 and the MyGHA system has been re-introduced in order to make it easier to make an appointment by phone.”

In addition, July’s backlog of repeat prescriptions has been cleared by GPs, she said.

“In July, the backlog consisted of 741 phone requests for repeat prescriptions plus over 500 similar requests which had been sent by email,” she said.

“As of mid-August, this backlog had been completely removed, except for the turnover of about 120 requests per day which are dealt with on the basis of a 48-hour turnaround.”

“If anyone is still waiting for a repeat prescription, I would ask them to check with the pharmacy of their choice as the medication may be waiting there for collection.”