The Australian Government has opened the Tamworth Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) at Northwest Health in New South Wales (NSW).

This clinic is said to be the part of the government’s efforts to provide accessible urgent medical care with qualified doctors and nurses to relieve the strain on local hospitals.

The Medicare UCC will operate seven days a week with extended hours and offer entirely bulk-billed walk-in care.

Over 60% of the cases at Tamworth Hospital are non-urgent or semi-urgent, highlighting the need for such clinics.

The Tamworth clinic joins a roster of seven already operational Medicare UCCs across NSW, at Albury, Rooty Hill, Cessnock, Penrith, Maroubra, Westmead, and Wollongong.

In addition, there are six other planned Medicare UCCs in Batemans Bay, Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Gosford (Peninsula), Lismore, and Wyong (Lake Haven), which are set to open by this year end.

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The Australian Government will continue to collaborate with Primary Health Networks and the New South Wales Government to set up these remaining Medicare UCCs.

Senator Tim Ayres said: “The Tamworth 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.

“I announced the Tamworth UCC with our Candidate for New England, Laura Hughes, last election. She knows how important this will be to the local community.

“We’re a government that keeps our word, and I’m excited to see the Clinic up and running in Tamworth.”