South Australians will have better access to healthcare, with the opening of a new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) in Elizabeth and the expansion of Healthdirect services to connect patients to General Practitioners.
The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to establish five Medicare UCCs in South Australia. The first clinic, to be operated by the Elizabeth Medical and Dental Centre, started seeing patients for urgent care needs on 23 October 2023.
This Medicare UCC delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to make it easier for people in South Australia to get urgent treatment from qualified doctors and nurses – while taking pressure off local hospitals.
The Elizabeth Medicare UCC will be open for extended hours, 7 days a week, and offer walk-in treatment that is bulk billed.
More than 25 per cent of presentations to the Lyell McEwin Hospital are for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.
Additional clinics will be established in Western Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Marion, and Outer Southern Adelaide, and will all open before the end of the year.
The Albanese Government will continue to work closely with Primary Health Networks and the Malinauskas Government to deliver the remaining Medicare UCCs.
The Elizabeth Medicare UCC is complemented by the Australian Government’s investment of $10 million to the South Australian Government under the Primary Care Pilot initiative.
As part of this initiative, from 23 October, the South Australian Government with Healthdirect, established two new services, a navigation tool to rapidly connect South Australians with new and existing urgent care services, and a GP medical escalation service, to provide access to a virtual GP appointment where no other local primary care option is available within an appropriate timeframe.
The Primary Care Pilot initiative will divert patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries away from emergency departments to more appropriate care in the community.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Improving access to health care across Australia – and especially in regional and rural areas – is a key priority for the Australian Government.
“The Elizabeth Medicare UCC is going to make a big difference to patients across the Outer Northern Adelaide area.
“Local communities will be able to walk in, see a doctor or nurse and access imaging and pathology services.
“This clinic will ease pressure on the Lyell McEwin Hospital, allowing them to concentrate on higher priority emergencies.
“At the same time, the South Australian Primary Care Pilot will make it easier for South Australians to receive health care where and when they need it.
“The Albanese Government is committed to strengthening Medicare and making it easier and cheaper to get quality healthcare, by tripling the bulk billing incentive and making medicines cheaper.”
Quotes attributable to Minister Picton:
"The Elizabeth Medicare UCC will mean people in this community who need urgent treatment for non-life-threatening conditions, can get it quickly even if it’s outside standard hours – and all they’ll need is their Medicare card.
“I know many families who have had to wait long hours at the emergency department for non-life-threatening issues.
“This Medicare UCC and expansion of Healthdirect services will ease pressure on local EDs and be much more convenient for our communities to access health care.”
Quotes attributable to Matt Burnell, Member for Spence:
“I will always advocate for better healthcare in the North, and opening the Elizabeth Medicare UCC will do just that, offering urgent care in the heart of Elizabeth, completely bulk billed.
“This clinic will help take the pressure off the Lyell McEwin Hospital emergency department but will also allow northern suburbs residents to access urgent and non-urgent treatment easier and quicker.”