23 May 2023

Sydney Medical Service Co-op Ltd (SMS) will no longer be funded to provide after hours services in the Camden and Wollondilly Local Government Areas (LGAs) from 1 July 2023.

Practices in those LGAs which have formal after hours agreements in place with SMS, must make new arrangements to meet the requirements and obligations of the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) After Hours Incentive Guidelines.

What are your PIP After Hours Incentive obligations?

The RACGP Standards for general practices – 5th edition requires general practices to have after-hours care arrangements in place for their patients, if they are unable to deliver after-hours care directly.

General practices must ensure their patients:

  1. Are informed about how they can access after-hours care and
  2. Patients can access after hours care, to meet standard GP1.3 – Care outside normal operating hours

What is considered after hours?

For the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) the complete after hours period is:

  • Monday to Friday (weekdays) between 6pm to 8am
  • Saturday before 8am and after 12pm
  • Sunday and Public Holidays – all day

The complete after-hours period is further broken into:

  • Sociable after-hours period – 6pm to 11pm weeknights
  • Unsociable after-hours period – 11pm to 8am weekdays, hours outside of 8am and 12pm Saturdays, all day Sundays and public holidays

What are the PIP After Hours Incentive guidelines?

The Practice Incentive Program (PIP) After Hours Incentive supports general practices to provide their patients with appropriate access to after-hours care.

Find out more

What steps do I take if my practice is impacted?

Practices will only need to notify PIP via the IP030 form or online via HPOS if they are changing the arrangement they have in place for payment. For example, if they go from level one eligibility requirements to level three eligibility requirements for the PIP After Hours Incentive payment.

If the practice’s level structure is the same and it is only changing after hours providers, the practice will need to make the arrangement with the new medical deputising service and advise National Health Services Directory, a requirement for all payment levels.

The RACGP Supporting continuity and access guide can support your practice in establishing an agreement with an after hours service provider.

What after hours providers does SWSPHN commission?

SWSPHN commissions two after-hours care providers to ensure patients have access to suitable healthcare at all times of the day or night, across all seven LGAs in our region.

My Emergency Doctor

Area: South Western Sydney

Mode: Telehealth and video call

Practitioners: Emergency Specialist Doctors (Fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine or FACEMs).

Website:  My Emergency Doctor

Phone: 1800 001 003

Southern Highlands GP After Hours Service

Area: Southern Highlands / Wingecarribee Shire

Mode: Face-to-face home visits and clinic, telehealth

Practitioners: GPs

Website: www.shgpahs.com.au

Phone: 4861 6433

Information of these services can be found on the SWSPHN website and HealthPathways.

Who can help?

If you have questions about the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) After Hours Incentive, please contact your PSO.

If you have questions about SWSPHN-commissioned after hours providers, please contact Lucy.Hobbs@swsphn.com.au