The Australian Government has opened the Coffs Harbour Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) as part of its goal to improve access to urgent medical care for the residents of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales (NSW).

Located at CHC Medical, the clinic, staffed by qualified doctors and nurses, aims to alleviate pressure on local hospitals.

The facility will operate seven days a week with extended hours and offer walk-in care with fully bulk-billed services.

This initiative is in response to the observation that over 45% of Coffs Harbour Hospital presentations are for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.

The Coffs Harbour Medicare UCC is one of several clinics established across NSW, with additional locations scheduled to open by the end of 2023 in Batemans Bay, Campbelltown, and Lake Haven.

The Australian Government is collaborating with Primary Health Networks and the New South Wales Government to launch these Medicare UCCs.

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Australia Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said: “The Coffs Harbour Medicare UCC is going to make a big difference to patients across the greater Coffs Harbour area.

“This clinic will ease pressure on the Coffs Harbour Hospital, allowing them to concentrate on higher priority emergencies.

“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.”

Australia Senator Tim Ayres: “The Coffs Harbour Medicare UCC will mean people in this community 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.

“I know many families who have had to wait long hours at the emergency department for non-life-threatening issues.

“This Medicare UCC will ease pressure on local EDs and be much more convenient for our communities – closer to home, at short notice, and bulk billed under Medicare.”