‘Telephone Triage’: a possible means of managing the after-hours patient load at primary health care facilities in South Africa

Published in: South African Family Practice
Volume 60, issue 6, 2018 , pages: 219–224
DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2018.1504863
Author(s): AA AdenijiDivision of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa,, LH MabuzaDepartment of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa.,


The rate at which routine patients are using the emergency department (ED) as a path to enter into the healthcare system in South Africa’s community healthcare facilities and district hospitals is alarming. The increasing number of acutely presenting, less stable and routine patients are being left to the care of a reduced number of health carers after hours, at weekends and during public holidays. This circumstantial disproportionality forms the breeding ground for poor patient care, healthcare workers’ burnout and inappropriate use of referral pathways.

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