Labor Has Questions To Answer On Urgent Care Clinics

Guy Barnett, Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Tasmanian Government continues to demand increased investment for Tasmania’s primary care sector from the Federal Labor Government, including for more urgent care clinics (UCCs).

During his fly-in, fly-out visit to Tasmania, Federal Labor Health and Aged Care Minister, Mark Butler, has serious questions to answer about his government’s failure to adequately invest in primary health care in Tasmania.

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Guy Barnett has been putting the case to Federal Labor for months that there should be funding for at least five new UCC locations to support Tasmania’s needs.

“I wrote to the Federal Labor Government seeking Centres in growing regional areas like Sorell, Kingston, Bridgewater, as well as in Burnie and Launceston – to get more Urgent Care Centres, as Tasmanians deserve,” Minister Barnett said.

“While we welcome the announcement of a new UCC in Bridgewater, it is far from enough.

“Federal funding for additional urgent care clinics in Tasmania is grossly inadequate, and based on current allocations, Tasmania will only receive one additional clinic.

“Federal Labor must explain why it has failed to sufficiently allocate the funding required to ensure Tasmania can meet the increasing demand on the healthcare system, noting Federal Labor’s underfunding of GPs.

“More Tasmanians are being driven to our hospital emergency departments due to difficulty accessing a GP, and the Tasmanian Government has repeatedly stepped in to shore up GP availability.

“Our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future commits to working with the Australian Government on more bulk-billed Urgent Care Centres for Tasmanians, following positive indicators from the initial state and federal-funded rollout of urgent care clinics in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport.

“The Tasmanian Liberal Government has already partnered in one centre, and a fifth Urgent Care Centre at Newstead in Launceston has been solely funded by a Tasmanian Liberal Government.

“Right now in Tasmania there are multiple areas with identified need for bulk-billed urgent care clinics, and we will continue to fight for the healthcare that Tasmanians need and deserve.”

/Public Release. View in full here.