Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has opened a new Urgent Care Service to boost healthcare access for the Sutherland Shire community.

Being delivered in alliance with the Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, the Caringbah Urgent Care Service will operate 365 days a year, from 8am to 8pm.

It comprises diagnostic services on-site including radiology and pathology and will be staffed by general practitioners and nurses.

Patients have to call Healthdirect, where a registered nurse will evaluate their condition and guide them to the required care.

NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said: “This new Urgent Care Service will mean the local community can receive care quickly for conditions which can be safely and appropriately treated outside the region’s busy Eds.

“The service is well-supported to treat a range of illnesses and injuries deemed urgent, but not life-threatening such as minor wounds that need stitches, suspected broken bones and skin infections that need antibiotics.”

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The NSW Government has pledged to invest A$124m ($83.21m) to deliver 25 Urgent Care Services in NSW by mid-2025.

The programme is also being financed by the Commonwealth Government.

Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network CEO Nathalie Hansen said: “The service is committed to providing patients with the best possible care and will be free for both Medicare card holders and community-based asylum seekers.”

“We encourage community members who need access to fast medical attention for conditions that are not life-threatening, but which shouldn’t be left untreated, to access the Caringbah Urgent Care Service.

“This service will work closely with local GPs and will improve access to primary care in the region avoiding the need for long wait times at emergency departments.”