Understanding the difference between routine, urgent and emergency care – animation

Learn the difference between routine, urgent and emergency care.


Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are located across Australia and make it easier to access bulk-billed, urgent health care. 

They’re open early and late every day, and you don't need an appointment or referral. Urgent care is when you need medical attention for an illness or injury that can’t wait for a regular appointment with a GP, but doesn’t require care for emergency or life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Things that may need urgent medical care include minor fractures, sprains, minor infections; respiratory illnesses; mild burns; severe stomach pains; or urinary tract infections.

Emergency or life-threatening illnesses or injuries require immediate medical attention by an emergency department or hospital. For example, things like chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe burns, poisoning, loss of feeling, and seizures.

Your local GP is your first point of contact for routine and preventative health care. Some GPs also offer same day appointments. To find your nearest Medicare Urgent Care Clinic, visit health.gov.au/MedicareUCC

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