The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to Tasmanians with the opening of an additional Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) in Hobart.
Ochre Medical Centre in Hobart will be established as the Hobart Medicare UCC and will start seeing patients from 30 October 2023.
This Medicare UCC delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to make it easier for people in Tasmania to get the urgent treatment they need – from highly qualified doctors and nurses – while taking pressure off the Royal Hobart Hospital.
The Medicare UCC will be open for extended hours, 7 days a week, and offer walk-in care that is fully bulk billed.
Approximately 40 per cent of presentations to the Royal Hobart Hospital are for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.
This clinic will join two clinics already operational in Hobart and Launceston, and a clinic in Devonport which will open before the end of the year.
The two clinics that have been open only for a matter of weeks, Launceston and Hobart, have already seen over 3,300 patients.
Across the country UCCs are reporting:
- Nearly a third of patients have been under 15 years of age.
- Nearly a third of visits have taken place on weekends.
- On weekdays, more than 1 in 5 visits have taken place after 6pm.
Medicare UCCs are taking pressure off Tasmanian hospitals and ensuring patients get the urgent care they need when and where they need it.
The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the Tasmanian Government and Primary Health Tasmania to deliver all Medicare UCCs for Tasmania by the end of the year.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Hobart Medicare UCC will enable local families to walk in, see a doctor or nurse and access imaging and pathology services.
“We’ve worked closely with the Tasmanian Government to ensure the Medicare UCCs align with local health services and the needs of communities across the state.
“This clinic will ease pressure on the Royal Hobart Hospital, allowing them to concentrate on higher priority emergencies.
“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 Collins:
“These Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will ensure local families can get bulk billed care when they need it, without an appointment.
“When you have a deep cut, or when your child breaks their arm, you can head straight to the clinic rather than spend hours in the hospital waiting room.
“The Medicare UCCs will help take pressure off the Royal Hobart Hospital and its hard-working doctors and nurses, so that they can focus on higher-priority emergencies and life-saving care.”
Quotes attributable to Minister Barnett:
“I’ve heard from people right here in Hobart 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 Rockliff Government is committed to finding innovative solutions to ensure Tasmanians get the right healthcare, in the right place, at the right time.
“The Hobart UCCs will ease pressure on the Royal Hobart Hospital ED and be much more convenient for our community – closer to home, at short notice, and free under Medicare.”
Quotes attributable to Dr Ross Lamplugh, Ochre Health Chairman:
“Ochre Health is pleased to partner with the Albanese Labor and Tasmanian governments in operating the Medicare Urgent Care Clinic at Liverpool St in Hobart.
“The Liverpool Street Urgent Care Clinic is a stand-alone facility located in the same building as our Ochre Medical Centre, with parking and under-cover ambulance access. Patients will be treated in a fit-for-purpose environment and the doctors providing care will have dedicated experience in emergency medicine.
“We already operate a private Urgent Care Clinic in Queensland and we are delighted to now play a role in offering additional patient care solutions in Hobart to bolster the health system and better support the local community.”