4 May, 2022

Labor promises Urgent Care Clinics

Labor has promised to establish Urgent Care Clinics to provide bulk-billed emergency care for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Labor is promising to create bulk-billed Urgent Care Clinics of it is elected
Labor is promising to create bulk-billed Urgent Care Clinics of it is elected

Under Labor, families across Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs area will get the bulk billed urgent medical care they need, without having to wait hours at over-burdened hospital emergency departments.  

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said an Albanese Labor Government will fund Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to be based at GP surgeries and Community Health Centres in at least 50 locations across Australia – including one in the Ipswich region.

“A local Medicare Urgent Care Clinic will take the pressure off hospital emergency departments by providing an alternative option for families needing urgent care from a doctor or nurse,” Mr Neumann said.

“The clinic will treat sprains and broken bones, stitches and glue for cuts, wound care, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems and minor burns. 

“Care will be bulk billed, meaning families won’t be out-of-pocket for having a loved one attended to, just like if they’d gone to a public hospital. 

“Importantly, it will be open seven days a week from at least 8am to 10pm – the time when the majority of non-life-threatening injuries occur.”

Mr Neumann said health costs had sky-rocketed for local families.

“In Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs area, the out-of-pocket costs to see a GP have gone up 42% since the Coalition Government was elected.

“That’s an additional $11.58 to see a GP.

“Meantime, specialist health care has gone up 67%, which equates to an additional $35.19 to see a specialist.

“The Morrison Government’s cuts to Medicare are by stealth.

“By refusing to increase rebates and taking items off the schedule they have made healthcare more expensive.

“They have made it harder to attract GPs to the region by changing the rules abv

“It’s hard to attract GPs when the Liberals changed the rules about what it means to be regional, meaning there’s no additional support for clinics across Ipswich, including rural towns, part of the Somerset Region and Karana Downs. 

“This has left patients waiting far too long for primary health care services, and that sends them to our public hospital emergency rooms.”

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will relieve pressure on hospitals, and free-up dedicated nurses and doctors at hospital emergency departments so they can focus on providing care for serious and life-threating presentations.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics build on a successful model of care adopted internationally, most prominently in New Zealand where they have been credited with delivering the lowest rate of emergency department attendance per capita in the developed world.

Each clinic will differ in size and structure, to meet the needs of the local community.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will be located across Australia – in every State and Territory.

Labor will invest over $135 million across four years to establish a trial of 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.

 “Medicare Urgent Care Centres are a practical, tangible example of Labor’s commitment to strengthen Medicare and make it easier for families to access care.

“Medicare is the bedrock of our health system and by using it to help take the pressure off hospital emergency departments we make can the whole system stronger.”


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