Fourth Medicare urgent care clinic opens in SA’s West to ease pressure on local hospitals

The Western Medicare UCC promises to simplify the process for South Australians seeking urgent medical attention.

In a significant boost to healthcare accessibility, South Australia has welcomed the opening of its fourth Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) at Old Port Road Medical & Dental Centre in Royal Park. This latest addition is a key part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to enhance medical care and reduce the strain on local hospitals.

The Western Medicare UCC promises to simplify the process for South Australians seeking urgent medical attention. Patients will have access to top-tier care from qualified doctors and nurses, without the need to visit a hospital for non-critical issues. The clinic operates seven days a week with extended hours and offers walk-in services that are fully bulk billed, ensuring healthcare is both accessible and affordable.

Statistics reveal a compelling need for such facilities. Over 40% of visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital emergency departments are for non-urgent or semi-urgent care. The Western Medicare UCC joins other clinics in Elizabeth, Marion, and Mount Gambier, significantly enhancing the region’s healthcare infrastructure. A fifth clinic in Morphett Vale is also set to open by year’s end.

Minister Butler, speaking on the initiative, stated, “The Western Medicare UCC will mean people in the western suburbs who need urgent but not acute care, can get it quickly even if it’s outside standard hours – and all they’ll need is their Medicare card.” He highlighted the clinic’s role in alleviating pressure on major hospitals, allowing them to focus on more severe emergencies. Emphasising the government’s dedication to bolstering Medicare, Butler mentioned, “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.”

Minister Picton echoed these sentiments, underscoring the clinic’s impact on the local community. He said, “The Western Medicare UCC is going to make a big difference to patients across the western suburbs of Adelaide. Instead of waiting for a non-life-threatening issue at the emergency department like a broken bone or a deep cut, they can receive treatment at this walk-in clinic, with no out of pocket cost.” Picton also noted the convenience and cost-effectiveness of the clinic, which is open on weekends and offers extended hours.

The collaboration between the Adelaide Primary Health Network and the South Australian Government has been pivotal in the development of these clinics. The Western Medicare UCC represents a significant stride towards a more efficient and accessible healthcare system in South Australia, a model that could set a precedent for other regions seeking to optimise their healthcare services.

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