Date published: 
3 April 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Liberal National Government is investing $28 million for the development of four new urgent care centres in Perth that will help ease pressure on emergency departments, and provide greater choice for patients.

The new centres located in Cannington, Midland, Mandurah and Osborne Park will handle urgent, but non-emergency patients who would normally go to hospital emergency departments for treatment.

Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the urgent care centres will assist the existing three St John urgent care centres located in Joondalup, Cockburn and Armadale, to form an integrated network across the Perth metropolitan area, easing the demand on the public hospital emergency departments.

“Together, the seven urgent care centres; four new and three existing, will be able to treat 231,000 patients a year. Approximately one third, or 77,000 of these patients, would normally present at public hospital emergency department.”

St John WA, CEO, Michelle Fyfe said that this funding to run a four year trial of Urgent Care Centres was a significant decision by the Federal Government and that they believed it will have a long-term, positive impact on the Australian pre-hospital system.

“Based on our nearly three years of evidence in running three Urgent Care centres, we’re confident this will make a real difference. This trial will provide data to conclusively prove the positive impact that Urgent Care has on the health system.”

Chairman of St John WA, Shane Lesley welcomed the funding and said the expansion of Urgent Care centres throughout Perth will strengthen the health care system.

“We are confident that the entire system of General Practice, after hour’s General Practice, Urgent Care and Emergency Departments, all working together, will deliver the best outcome for the whole community.”

In 2016–17, there were more than 830,000 emergency department patients in WA. Just over half — 51 per cent — were in the lowest urgency category.

This funding compliments the additional $3.5 billion Western Australia will receive for public hospitals as part of the new hospitals agreement.

Since coming into Government in 2013, the Liberal National Government has increased funding to Western Australia for public hospital services from $1.4 billion, to an estimated $2.2 billion this year.

We are committed to improving health services throughout Australia and building a world-class health system.

The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.