The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to Darwin and Alice Springs residents with the opening of two Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCC).
From 1 October, the Palmerston UCC at Palmerston GP Super Clinic will open and the Alice Springs Medicare UCC, to be operated by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, will open on 1 November 2023.
The Medicare UCC will be open seven days a week and offer walk-in care that is bulk billed for urgent care.
The two clinics will deliver on the Albanese Government’s commitment to make it easier for Territorians to get the urgent treatment they need – from highly qualified doctors and nurses – while taking pressure off the Alice Springs and Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospitals.
More than half of presentations to Northern Territory emergency departments in 2021–22 were for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.
The clinics will operate from Palmerston GP Super Clinic at 3 Gurd Street in Farrar, and Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Northside Clinic, located at Northside shopping complex at 1 Hearne Place in Alice Springs.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Palmerston and Alice Springs Medicare UCC will make a big difference to local patients who will be able to walk in during extended hours and receive convenient, high-quality care from a nurse or a doctor.
“The clinics will ensure families in the Northern Territory can access bulk billed health care without having to wait in a hospital emergency department.
“This is just another way the Government is strengthening Medicare and making it easier to see a doctor.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:
“The Palmerston and Alice Springs Medicare UCCs are going to make health care much more accessible and affordable for patients across those regions.
“Patients can walk in without an appointment, see a doctor or nurse and access imaging and pathology services.
“The clinic will ease pressure on the Alice Springs and Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospitals, so that so that their hard-working doctors and nurses can focus on higher priority emergencies.
Quotes attributable to Luke Gosling, Member for Solomon:
“I know many families who have had to wait long hours at the Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department for non-life-threatening issues that could have been dealt with by a doctor or nurse elsewhere.
“The Palmerston Urgent Care Clinic will ease the pressure on our local emergency departments and provide greater convenience for our community, who will be able to get care quickly, closer to home, and at no cost to them.”
Quotes attributable to Marion Scrymgour, Member for Lingiari:
“I’ve heard from people across the Northern Territory how difficult it can be to access medical care when they have a pressing health concern, but they can’t get in to see a GP.
“Most people in this situation end up in the emergency department, or, worse, they simply go without care.
“The Palmerston and Alice Springs Medicare UCCs will ease pressure on our local emergency departments and be much more convenient for our community – closer to home, at short notice, and bulk billed under Medicare.”