Australia’s Government of New South Wales (NSW) has announced A$2.4m ($1.5m) funding for the expansion of the rapid access clinic (RAC) at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital to provide urgent care to people with non-life-threatening conditions.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the RAC expansion project will help provide patients with access to ‘the right care, at the right time and in the right setting’ while easing pressure on the region’s emergency department.         

Park said: “Since 2018, the Wagga Wagga Rapid Access Clinic has been providing high quality acute care to adult patients in the Wagga community who have a range of conditions that require rapid assessment, diagnosis or intervention.

“These patients are currently referred to the RAC by general practitioners, emergency department clinicians and NSW Ambulance and receive a range of services including diagnostics, allied health, Hospital in the Home, an Infusion Clinic, minor procedures and specialist team review.”

The urgent care funding is expected to allow Rapid Access Clinic at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital to treat more than 3,500 additional patients annually.

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital general manager Lenert Bruce said the enhanced urgent care service at Wagga Wagga RAC is planned to be operational later this year. It will be open seven days a week.

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“Urgent care will be delivered as a mix of face-to-face care provided in the Clinic, as well as via virtual care platforms including the statewide VirtualKIDS service, where clinically appropriate.”

Last week, the NSW government said it was investing a further A$400m to expand the new hospital project at Rouse Hill to address the healthcare needs of communities in north-western Sydney.

This investment takes the government’s total funding commitment for the project to A$700m.

The expansion project aims to offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services including emergency and urgent care, in-patient beds, day surgery and short-stay medical assessments.

By mid-2025, the NSW government aims to provide A$124m funding to deliver 25 urgent care services in the state.