Media Releases

MORE HELP FOR FAMILIES, LESS PRESSURE ON HOSPITALS

April 13, 2022

Under Labor, families will get the bulk billed urgent medical care they need, without having to wait hours at over-burdened hospital emergency departments.  
 
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. 
 
Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off hospital emergency departments by providing an alternative option for families needing urgent care from a doctor or nurse. They 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. 
 
They’ll be open seven days a week from at least 8am to 10pm – the time when the majority of non-life-threatening injuries occur. 
 
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. 
 
Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese: 
 
“Labor’s Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will mean more families will get top quality care from a nurse or a doctor without having to wait in a hospital emergency department. 
 
“These clinics are a key part of Labor’s plan to strengthen Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor.
 
“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off emergency departments, so they can concentrate on saving lives.”

 
Quotes attributable to Mark Butler: 
 
“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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