The governments of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) have collaborated for the establishment of 25 urgent care services, each.
The establishment of these centres, in collaboration with General Practitioners (GPs), will bring the total number of urgent care clinics to 50.
This latest development is aimed at further easing the pressure on emergency departments after Covid-19.
The services will be well equipped to handle conditions, including fractures, burns, and mild infections, freeing up resources at emergency departments to handle patients with critical needs.
Additionally, the urgent care services will operate for extended hours and patients will not be charged for GP services.
People without a Medicare card will also be able to access services for free.
The services are planned to be commissioned in collaboration with Primary Health Networks.
The locations for these services will be determined after considering community needs, population, and emergency department demand.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said: “Around the country, the pandemic has put enormous pressure on healthcare systems, and part of that is because – through no fault of their own – people have delayed going to their GP and accessing primary care.
“Every day, it gets harder to access a bulk-billing GP. Victoria and New South Wales are doing something about it.
“We know and appreciate that the Commonwealth are investigating longer-term support for primary care, but we also know we need to act now to support healthcare systems across Australia’s two biggest states.”
In Victoria, ten centres as part of the package are planned to be established to collaborate with Dandenong Hospital, Casey Hospital, Albury Wodonga Health, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Werribee Mercy Hospital, Frankston Hospital, Bendigo Hospital, Austin Hospital, Alfred Hospital, and Box Hill Hospital.