Home Australia Anthony Albanese to pump $227 million into urgent care clinics as part of next week’s budget

Anthony Albanese to pump $227 million into urgent care clinics as part of next week’s budget

0 comment
Labor will channel $227 million to open 29 more urgent care clinics across the country, as part of a wider multi-billion dollar health package included in Tuesday's budget.

Labor will channel $227 million to open 29 more urgent care clinics across the country, as part of a wider multibillion-dollar health package included in Tuesday’s budget.

Despite a slow start to the rollout and continued concerns over opening hours, there have been almost 400,000 visits to the 58 bulk billing clinics that have opened across the country since last July.

Designed to relieve pressure on emergency departments, anyone with a Medicare card can see a doctor or nurse to treat urgent, non-life-threatening ailments such as minor injuries and respiratory infections.

Labor will channel $227 million to open 29 more urgent care clinics across the country, as part of a wider multi-billion dollar health package included in Tuesday’s budget.

Health Minister Mark Butler said existing centers were working as designed, with about one in two presentations reporting they would have gone to an emergency department if they had not had the option of visiting an urgent care clinic.

“Medicare urgent care clinics are already delivering on their promise by ensuring Australians can come and receive urgent care quickly and free,” Mr Butler said.

‘Medicare UCCs are making a difference, for patients and for busy hospital emergency departments.

“More UCCs, in more locations, and all patients need is their Medicare card.”

The location of the new clinics has not yet been determined.

To date, about one in three visits have been for children under 15, and more than a third of visits have been after 5 p.m. on weekdays or weekends.

But in the latest round of Senate estimates, it was revealed that most of them had not met their goal of opening from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, and only about 16 announced that they met that criterion at the time. February 9.

Many clinics have opening hours from 8am to 6pm or 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday, while some clinics are only open from 8am to 10pm during the week, but not on weekends.

Albanian government plans to open 29 more urgent care medical clinics with bulk billing

Albanian government plans to open 29 more urgent care medical clinics with bulk billing

Others are operating reduced hours on weekends, including the clinic in Albury in regional New South Wales, which currently advertises that it is only open for four hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Meanwhile, the Devonport clinic in Tasmania currently operates between 2pm and 10pm, seven days a week.

Butler confirmed the budget would have $8.5 billion in new health investments and provide additional funding for clinics in regional, rural and remote Australia.

He said the government would continue to work closely with state and territory governments, and primary health care networks, to roll out the clinics.

Currently, there are 14 clinics in New South Wales, 10 in Victoria, 11 in Queensland, seven in WA, five in South Australia, four in Tasmania, five in the ACT and two in the Northern Territory.

You may also like