ACT urgent care centres ‘kick in guts’

Australian Medical Association

The AMA and AMA (ACT) have raised serious concerns about the ACT government’s new plan for nurse-run urgent care centres.

The federal AMA and AMA (ACT) have written to Health Minister Mark Butler to raise concerns about the ACT government’s plan for nurse-run urgent care centres.

The plan involves rebranding existing walk-in clinics run by nurse practitioners as “urgent care centres” and is not consistent with federal government policy.

Speaking to the ABC this week, AMA President Professor Robson said the plan was a “real kick in the guts for Canberra’s doctors”.

“Simply rebranding the existing service does not cut the mustard,” Professor Robson said.

The letter to Mr Butler made it clear the ACT government’s rebranding of the centres did not align with the federal government’s own policy of these centres being led by GPs working collaboratively with other health professionals.

AMA (ACT) President-Elect Dr Kerrie Aust said the decision was another missed opportunity to invest in the struggling general practice sector.

“It appears the ACT Government has very little understanding of the role and importance of general practice. This has become obvious in recent months in the commentary of the Chief Minister with respect to payroll tax,” Dr Aust said.

Professor Robson and Dr Aust also outlined major concerns about the woeful consultation process conducted by ACT Health in the lead up to the decision on urgent care centres.

/AMA/AusMed News. View in full here.