Townsville University Hospital in Queensland, Australia, has opened a rapid access clinic funded with A$1.1m ($700,788) from this year’s state budget.

The facility is the second rapid access clinic run by Townsville Hospital and Health Service (HHS) for the treatment of chronic conditions, including asthma and diabetes.

The facilities aim to reduce emergency department (ED) visits and unnecessary hospital admissions.

Townsville HHS CEO Kieran Keyes said: “Our rapid access clinics have streamlined the delivery of care for patients who did not necessarily need to be seen in the ED.

“We know the demand on our health service is growing and its innovative models of care like this that allow us to meet the needs of our community.

‘‘No one likes being in hospital and with clinics like these we can reduce the number of people not only presenting to our ED but, also, get people back in the comfort of their own home sooner.

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‘‘The work of staff at both the TUH and Kirwan clinics are leading the way in developing the very best care for our community.”

Queensland health minister Shannon Fentiman said: “Every Queenslander deserves quality healthcare, no matter where they live.

“This facility will take pressure off the busy Townsville University Hospital Emergency Department, having a positive impact throughout the entire local health system.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that’s investing in keeping Queenslanders safe and healthy, closer to home.”

According to the Queensland government, the RAC programme allows specialist clinical units to manage non-elective care for patients experiencing chronic illness exacerbations at home.

It tests various access mechanisms for patients known to the health service and their general practitioners, with the aim of addressing urgent clinical needs without ED visits or readmissions.

This is intended to serve as both a preventative healthcare approach and an alternative to urgent care.