The Australian Government has opened the Western Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) in South Australia, to alleviate the burden of local hospitals.

Located at the Old Port Road Medical & Dental Centre in Royal Park, South Australia, the facility will provide South Australians with easier access to urgent medical treatment from qualified doctors and nurses.

Operating seven days a week with extended hours, the clinic provides fully bulk-billed walk-in care.

The initiative is said to be in response to the observation that more than 40% of emergency unit presentations at major hospitals in the region are for non-urgent or semi-urgent cases.

These hospitals are Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. 

The Western clinic joins existing Medicare UCCs in Elizabeth, Marion, and Mount Gambier, with one more in Morphett Vale set to launch before the end of this year.

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In addition, the Australian Government is collaborating with the Adelaide Primary Health Network and the South Australian Government to open the remaining Medicare UCC in the region.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said: “The Western Medicare UCC will mean people in the western suburbs 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.

“This clinic will ease pressure on the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s 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.”