Bundaberg and Rockhampton residents welcome Medicare Urgent Care Clinics

In Central Queensland, News, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay by PHN Communications

Rockhampton and Bundaberg residents are choosing access to bulk-billed urgent care without a visit to the emergency department, with the recent opening of Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in each regional city.

Funded by Country to Coast, QLD through the Australian Government’s PHN Program, the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics provide same-day medical attention for non-life-threatening illness or injury, that cannot wait for a regular appointment with a GP.

Country to Coast, QLD Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are a great example of health services working together to meet the needs of their region.

‘During July-September quarter, 33.4 per cent of presentations to the Rockhampton Hospital Emergency Department were categorised as semi-urgent or non-urgent and could be treated in the primary care system,’ said Ms Sturgess.

‘For Bundaberg Hospital Emergency Department during the same quarter, that number was 32.4 per cent. That means that one in three presentations at each ED could have been treated at a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic, helping to keep our emergency departments for emergencies.

Ms Sturgess said the new clinics were two of 58 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics the Australian Government is opening across Australia, with 11 of those in Queensland, to help ease pressure on emergency departments.

Each clinic is conveniently co-located with an operating health services clinic;

Bundaberg’s IWC at Walkervale and ForHealth’s Rockhampton Central Medical Centre at Stockland Shopping Centre, Norman Gardens (formerly Mandalay Medical Centre).

“We worked closely with each provider and are delighted to see them open their doors on the UCCs before Christmas, just in time to support the increased demand for urgent care during the holiday period,’ said Ms Sturgess.

CCQ is currently working with Bundaberg and Rockhampton Hospital and Health services to help visitors to the emergency department understand their options in terms of routine, urgent and emergency care.

‘We will also emphasise that Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are not an alternative to visiting your GP, who is the first point of contact for non-emergency, routine and preventative health care,’ said Ms Sturgess.

For more information about Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, visit c2coast.org.au/urgentcare

*Source: Queensland Health Performance Data – Emergency https://www.performance.health.qld.gov.au/