Improving access to primary care in Queensland

The Australian and Queensland Government are working together to improve access to primary care for Queenslanders and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

Media event date:
Date published:
Media type:
Media release
Audience:
General public

The Australian and Queensland Government are working together to improve access to primary care for Queenslanders and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.  

As a result of extensive collaboration, the Queensland Government has decided to expand to an additional two Medicare Urgent Care Clinics UCCs (Medicare UCCs) as part of the Primary Care Pilots program. 

There will be eleven Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (Medicare UCCs) in Queensland and the Expression of Interest process will open on 24 February 2023 for interested primary care health services to apply.

The Medicare UCCs will be located in areas of need across the state and offer treatment for non-life threatening conditions, a significant proportion of which may otherwise end up seeking care in Queensland emergency departments.

Services will be bulk billed and the clinics will open for extended hours every day of the week.

Medicare UCCs will be established in:

  • Bundaberg  
  • Ipswich  
  • Rockhampton  
  • Cairns  
  • Southern Brisbane 
  • Northern Brisbane  
  • Gold Coast  
  • Redcliffe 
  • Logan  
  • Townsville
  • Toowoomba

The EOI for Medicare UCCs in Queensland will be run by Queensland Primary Health Networks, and submissions close on 24 March 2023. 

The EOI is open for existing general practices, community health centres and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

In addition to delivering additional Medicare UCCs as part of the Primary Care Pilot program, the Queensland Government will also fund an expansion of its Care Collective - Caboolture. 

This model is a joint initiative of Brisbane North PHN and the Queensland Government’s Metro North Health and will be expanded to additional regions to improve integration and enhance hospital and primary health pathways. 

This is part of the $100 million in the October 2022-23 Budget for jurisdictions to co-develop innovative primary care pilots to provide better care in their regions. 

The Albanese Government will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to deliver Medicare UCCs in the state.
 
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:  
 
“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will offer thousands of Queenslanders an alternative to long waits in emergency departments with urgent but non-life-threatening conditions.
 
“This is one way the Albanese Government is moving rapidly to strengthen Medicare and ensure every Australian can get top-quality – and affordable – health care.
 
“The Palaszczuk Government knows that Urgent Care Clinics are going to make it easier for Queenslanders to access healthcare and that’s why they have chosen to expand the UCCs.”
 
Quotes attributable to Minister D’Ath:
 
“I am proud that the Palaszczuk Government is working collaboratively with the Albanese Government to deliver improved healthcare for Queenslanders.
 
“This is an important program that is going to help ease pressure on busy emergency departments right across the State.
 
“We know that in order to meet demand we need to seek new and innovative solutions and the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will play an important role in how the community accesses quality and affordable healthcare.

“These will complement the seven Satellite Hospitals we are building.”

Tags: 

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.