A Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) has opened at the Corrimal Medical and Dental Centre in Wollongong, Australia.

The facility will offer fully bulk-billed urgent care with extended hours, seven days a week. Patients do not require appointments to visit the facility.

As one of the 14 Medicare UCCs in New South Wales (NSW), the clinic is intended to ease pressure on Wollongong Hospital by providing care for semi and non-urgent conditions.

These conditions currently account for 40% of emergency presentations at Wollongong Hospital and almost 50% of all presentations to NSW hospital emergency departments.

The new facility is part of the state government’s efforts to strengthen Medicare and improve access to healthcare services.

NSW Member for Cunningham Alison Byrnes said: “The Wollongong Medicare UCC will ensure local families can get bulk billed care when they need it, without an appointment.

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“When you have a deep cut, or when your child breaks their arm, you can head straight to the clinic rather than spend hours in the Wollongong hospital waiting room.

“The Wollongong Medicare UCC will help take pressure off Wollongong Hospital and its hard-working doctors and nurses, so that they can focus on higher-priority emergencies and life-saving care.”

Australian Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said: “We’ve worked closely with the South Eastern New South Wales 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 Wollongong Medicare UCC is just another way the government is strengthening Medicare and making it easier to see a doctor.”

The other Medicare UCCs in NSW are located in Albury, Batemans Bay, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Cessnock, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Lismore, Penrith, Randwick, Tamworth, Westmead and Wyong.

Earlier this month, the state government promised funding to address residential aged care shortages in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.