Taking pressure off SA hospitals

The Albanese Government is working with the Malinauskas Government to take pressure off South Australian hospitals.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Albanese Government is working with the Malinauskas Government to take pressure off South Australian hospitals.
As part of the 2024–25 Budget the Albanese Government’s Strengthening Medicare investment in South Australia includes a $56.3 million package to support older South Australians and deliver additional urgent care. The package includes:  

  • $42.9 million for South Australia to provide hospital outreach to residential aged care, and a grants scheme to assist complex older patients transition from hospital to community settings 
  • Up to $4.6 million to extend the successful Acute to Residential Care Transition Program to support people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia  
  • $2.1 million to help older people recover from a hospital stay with short-term care through the extended Transition Care Programme, and  
  • Up to $1.8 million to extend the Comprehensive Palliative Care in Aged Care program, to support new and advanced ways of delivering end-of-life care.  

People in the northeast of Adelaide will also have better access to fully bulk billed urgent care from highly trained doctors and nurses, with an additional Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) to be established to take pressure off Modbury Hospital. This location was chosen in close consultation with the South Australian Government.
In 2022–23, almost a third of presentations to the Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospitals were for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.
The 58 existing Medicare Urgent Care Clinics have already seen more than 400,000 presentations since the first sites opened in June 2023.
This includes more than 24,000 visits to South Australian clinics, located in Elizabeth, Marion, Morphett Vale, Mount Gambier and Western Adelaide.
Across the South Australian Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, over 1 in 5 visits have been children under the age of 15, and over 1 in 4 visits have been outside normal working hours.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are a key part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to strengthen Medicare and make health care more accessible and affordable.
“The clinics have treated thousands of Australians who would either face a long wait in the emergency department or who simply put off getting treatment at all.
“A local Medicare Urgent Care Clinic will give people in northeast Adelaide better access to urgent care where and when they need it.”
“Our broader investments in strengthening Medicare will support older South Australians to get better care outside of the hospital system, further reducing the load on local hospitals and freeing up beds for other patients.” 
Quotes attributable to Minister Picton:
“This investment from the Albanese Government will support older South Australians to transition back to the community sooner and assist patient flow in our hospitals.
“The Malinauskas Government is making a substantial investment into the state’s health system, building more hospital beds and hiring more doctors, nurses, ambos and allied health workers.
“Unfortunately, many of those hospital beds become blocked with patients waiting for residential aged care places, which is why this investment is so important for helping to free up our emergency departments and ambulances.”
Quotes attributable to Tony Zappia MP, Member for Makin:
“I’m pleased that the Albanese Government is able to be part of the successful Medicare Urgent Care Clinic network.

“This is an area that needs better access to health care and the Albanese Government has listened and is delivering.

“More doctors are returning to bulk billing, medicines are cheaper and now we’re reducing the load on the Modbury Hospital.”

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