Medicare Urgent Care Clinics seeing more than 10,000 patients each week

A key election commitment, the rollout began in June 2023, with the final clinics opening late last year.

According to the government, almost 30% of visits have involved parents or carers seeking urgent care for children under 15. In most jurisdictions, nearly 30% of presentations have occurred over the weekend, while around one in four weekday visits have taken place after 5pm.

Open seven days a week and offering walk-in care that is fully bulk-billed, Medicare Urgent Care Clinics were established to allow people to access care outside of standard hours, providing an alternative to emergency departments for urgent but non-life-threatening care. The clinics are equipped to treat a range of conditions and injuries, from lacerations, rashes, ear infections and foot and hand injuries to viral infections.

“Reaching the milestone of 250,000 visits to Medicare Urgent Care Clinics means hundreds of thousands of people got the urgent care they needed, without waiting for hours in a hospital emergency department – and all they needed is their Medicare card,” Health Minister Mark Butler said, labelling the initiative the “missing part of the Australian healthcare system”.

“It is great to see clinics providing better access to care for patients in need of urgent medical assistance outside of regular business hours, with around one in four weekday visits after 5pm.

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