Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Urgent Care Clinic deadline missed

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An Urgent Care Clinic in Toowoomba, promised to be up and running by 1 July 2023, is yet to be finished.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs) aim to give patients more options to see a doctor or nurse when they need urgent, but not life-threatening, care.

They are walk-in (no appointment or referral needed), bulk billed, have extended hours and are staffed by doctors and nurses.

The Federal Labor Government had promised the Toowoomba UCC, as well as 50 others around the country, would be up and running by the deadline.

Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton said the latest broken promise continued a very clear pattern of breaking election promises by the Albanese Labor Government.

“Toowoomba is the health-hub of Southwest Queensland and local doctors, nurses and health administrators do an amazing job to provide the best possible care,” Mr Hamilton said.

“I hear from local GPs that the cost pressures on them are ever-increasing, and I hear from local residents that it is harder and harder to get an appointment with a local GP, let alone a bulk billed appointment under this government.

“Our healthcare system is under serious pressure, and now Labor have broken their promise on delivering an Urgent Care Clinic to relieve our local hospital.

“This is another example of why Labor cannot be trusted. Labor only prioritises health during election campaigns, and they fail when it comes to actually delivering the services people rely on.”

So far, only eleven UCCs have opened, nine in Victoria and two in Western Australia.

Shadow Minister for Health, Senator Anne Ruston said there are still no details about where the missing clinics will be exactly located or when patients can be expected to walk through the doors.

“Labor also promised that every Urgent Care Clinic would be open during the extended times of 8am to 10pm as a key part of their operation, but it was revealed in Budget Estimates that this won’t even be the case,” Senator Ruston said.

“It is becoming more and more evident that Labor sold the public a lie.”

The Department of Health and Aged Care claims 58 Medicare UCCs will be open across Australia by the end of the year.

UCCs aim to reduce the burden on emergency departments of hospitals by catering for patients that do not need life-threatening care.

On Our Selection News 13 July 2023

This article appeared in On Our Selection News, 13 July 2023.


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