When to visit a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic

Medicare UCCs provide urgent health care in a GP setting, so you don’t have to wait at your local emergency department.

What is urgent care

Urgent care is when you need medical attention for an illness or injury that can be managed without a trip to the emergency department, but cannot wait for a regular appointment with a GP.

Medicare UCCs provide acute episodic care and treatment that does not require a hospital admission. This may include:

  • minor infections
  • minor fractures, sprains, sports injuries and neck and back pain
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • stitches and glue for minor cuts
  • insect bites and rashes
  • minor eye and ear problems
  • respiratory illness
  • gastroenteritis
  • mild burns.

Medicare UCCs won’t be able to see people for major trauma or complex conditions.

Find a Medicare UCC near you >

What is emergency or life-threatening care

Emergency or life-threatening care requires immediate medical attention and management by an emergency department or hospital.

If you or a loved one has a life-threatening injury or illness, do not attend a Medicare UCC. Call triple zero (000) or go to your nearest emergency department. 

Do not attend a Medicare UCC for:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • breathing difficulties
  • uncontrollable bleeding
  • severe burns
  • poisoning
  • numbness or paralysis
  • unconscious, unresponsive or having seizures
  • ongoing fever in infants.

General health care

Your local general practitioner (GP) should be your first point of contact for non-emergency, routine and preventative health care. Some GPs also offer same day appointments.

Care provided by your local GP includes:

  • diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and illnesses
  • general screening and health checks
  • vaccinations and prescriptions
  • mental health advice
  • family planning advice
  • referrals for tests, scans or specialist care.

Medicare UCCs won’t be able to see people for things like chronic disease management or preventive health procedures such as cervical screening tests.

What you need to take with you

If you have a Medicare card or number, bring it with you when you attend a Medicare UCC.

Date last updated:

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