All Ways Healthcare, supported by ForHealth, has been appointed as the provider for the Cessnock Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) in the Hunter region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

The federal government made the choice after an expression of interest process.

Set to open this month, the clinic will provide bulk-billed urgent care with extended hours, seven days a week.

Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi said: “I know many families in the Cessnock region who have had to wait long hours at Cessnock Hospital emergency department for non-life-threatening issues, like stitches or an X-ray.”

The Cessnock Medicare UCC will address the non-urgent or semi-urgent cases at Cessnock Hospital, which currently make up over 60% of the hospital’s emergency unit visits.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said: “The Cessnock Medicare UCC will make a big difference to local patients who will be able to walk in during extended hours and receive convenient, high-quality care from a nurse or a doctor.

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“We’ve worked closely with the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network and New South Wales Government to ensure the Medicare UCCs align with local health services and the needs of communities across the state.

“The Cessnock Medicare UCC is just another way the government is strengthening Medicare and making it easier to see a doctor.”

The Cessnock facility is part of a broader plan to launch 14 Medicare UCCs across NSW. Similar centres will be set up in Albury, Batemans Bay, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Lismore, Penrith, Randwick, Tamworth, Westmead, Wollongong, and Wyong.

These clinics are expected to open this year as part of the Australian Government’s efforts to bolster Medicare and improve access to healthcare services.

The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with the Primary Health Networks and the NSW government.