The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to make it easier for Canberrans to get the healthcare they need with Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (Medicare UCCs).
From today, Medicare UCCs will be integrated across the very successful Canberra Health Services Walk-in Centres across its five locations at Gungahlin, Belconnen, Dickson, Weston and Tuggeranong.
Funding to integrate the Walk-in Centres with the Urgent Care Clinic network will increase the number of nurses and allied health professionals – to increase coverage at all Centres, including:
- Three new Nurse Practitioners and three new Advance Practice Nurses,
- An advanced scope physiotherapist for the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre to treat patients with musculoskeletal injuries. The physiotherapist will also provide virtual assessments and support for nursing staff in other Walk-in Centres.
- A radiographer and sonographer for the Weston Creek Medical Imaging Service to extend the service to provide afterhours imaging.
Funding will also provide more equipment for the Walk-in Centres to treat a wider range of conditions.
Canberra Health Services has commenced the recruitment of new staff and purchase of new equipment, it is expected the full scope of additional services will be available from early 2024.
Open seven days a week and across extended hours, all services will be fully bulk billed.
The clinics are jointly funded, with the Commonwealth providing $7.1 million over three years to the ACT Government.
Just under half of all presentations to the Canberra Hospital and North Canberra Hospital are considered semi or non-urgent. These clinics will ease this pressure, so ACT hospitals can concentrate on higher priority emergencies.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“These Medicare UCCs are a critical part of the Albanese Government’s plan to strengthen Medicare and ensure Canberrans have access to the affordable healthcare they need, when and where they need it.
“These centres will direct patients away from Canberra’s emergency departments, freeing up resources for patients with more serious needs.”
Quotes attributable to Senator Katy Gallagher:
“We know that Canberrans have embraced the nurse-led Walk-in Centres across the ACT, and that’s helping take pressure off our two emergency departments.
“Thanks to funding from the Albanese Government, these Centres will soon have more staff and be able to treat a wider range of conditions.
“Canberra families are under pressure with the rising cost of living, and it will be a relief for them to know that treatment at these centres will continue to be free.”
Quotes attributable to Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister:
“We know Canberrans value the services provided at our nurse-led Walk-in Centres, providing free public healthcare seven days a week.
“This investment from the Commonwealth Government will provide even more treatment and care options closer to people’s homes and will help to reduce the pressure on our Emergency Departments.
“The extension of services to be offered at the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre, will see Canberrans able to receive assessment, medical imaging, and treatment for a minor injury all in the same location, without the need to go to the hospital.
“We will continue to work closely with community-based health services, including general practitioners, to ensure we are delivering an integrated health system where Canberrans can access the right care in the right place and at the right time.”