Delivering a fifth Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Tasmania and more support to strengthen Medicare

Department of Health

The Albanese Government is delivering another Medicare Urgent Care Clinic for Tasmanians so they can access fully bulk billed urgent care.

Bridgewater will be the home of the 5th Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Tasmania.

The exact location of the Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Bridgewater will be determined by a Tasmanian Government tender process run in consultation with the Tasmanian Primary Health Network.

Importantly, the new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Bridgewater will reduce pressure on the Royal Hobart Hospital as well as giving Tasmanians living in Hobart’s northern suburbs another option for their urgent health care needs.

The clinic is one of a further 29 to be established around the country as part of a $227 million expansion of the Medicare UCC program announced in the 2024-25 Budget.

The 58 existing Medicare Urgent Care Clinics have already seen more than 400,000 presentations since the first sites opened in June 2023.

This includes more than 25,000 visits to the four existing Tasmanian clinics, located in Hobart (Liverpool Street and Bathurst Street), Devonport, and Launceston.

A quarter of visits to Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in Tasmania have taken place over the weekend and 1 in 4 visits have been children under 15 years old.

As part of the Albanese Government’s investment in Urgent Care Clinics, all the Tasmanian UCCs – including both in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport – will be provided more support in recognition of higher staffing costs and to support more services.

This is part of a $28.1 million package to strengthening Medicare in Tasmania from the Albanese Government. The package includes measures to support older Tasmanians, including:

  • $9.9 million for Tasmania to provide hospital outreach services in the community, deliver virtual care to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, and aged care navigation support for older people leaving hospital
  • Up to $9.2 million to extend and expand the successful Acute to Residential Care Transition Program to support people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • $1.2 million to help older people recover from a hospital stay with short-term care through the extended Transition Care Programme, and
  • Up to $450,000 to extend the Comprehensive Palliative Care in Aged Care program, to support new and advanced ways of delivering end-of-life care.

This comes on top of the Albanese Government’s commitment to significantly increase funding for public hospitals from 2025. Health Ministers have commenced negotiating the new National Health Reform Agreement Addendum through which the Australian Government will provide more funding to state public hospitals from 2025-2030.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are already delivering for Tasmanians.

“There have been over 25,000 presentations to the four Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in Tasmania, meaning patients have been able to receive urgent care quickly and for free.

“A Bridgewater Urgent Care Clinic will mean more Tasmanians can access this fantastic health service instead of waiting in hospital emergency departments.

“Our broader investments in strengthening Medicare will also support older Tasmanians to get better care outside of the hospital system, further reducing the load on local hospitals and freeing up beds for other patients.

“The Albanese Government is delivering more clinics, in more locations, and all Tasmanians need is their Medicare card.”

Quotes attributable to Brian Mitchell MP, Member for Lyons:

“The announcement of another Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Tasmania is very welcome.

“I strongly made the case for the people of Bridgewater to have an alternative option than driving into the city for non-emergency medical situations, which will also benefit the surrounding areas of Brighton, Derwent Valley and Glenorchy.

“The new clinic in Hobart’s north will fill gaps in health services and deliver for local people who need medical help quickly but aren’t a high priority in a busy emergency department.

“With no appointment needed and fully bulk billed, the walk-in clinic is very positive news for the people of Bridgewater.”

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