Medicare Urgent Care Clinics
Last updated October 5, 2023
The Australian Government has commissioned the Primary Health Network to establish 58 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs) across Australia, including 14 in NSW, over the next five years.
Across the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN, Medicare UCCs will service the Tamworth, Cessnock, Gosford and Wyong regions and will offer treatment for urgent but non-life threating illnesses and injuries requiring same day assessment for people who may otherwise have visited an emergency department.
Medicare UCCs will work hand in glove with local hospital systems and primary health care providers to ensure that people receive the right care and are referred to the right place for their needs.
The clinics will:
- Be open after regular business hours, operate seven days per week, including public holidays, and accept walk-in patients.
- Provide treatments that would not require a hospital admission such as closed fractures, simple eye injuries, minor burns, treating a UTI or ear infection.
- Bulk bill.
Click to download UCC Information and Choosing the Right Care flyers.
Frequently Asked Questions answered below.
What is a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic?
Medicare Urgent Care Clinics provide assessment and treatment for urgent but not life-threatening medical conditions. Medical care is provided for an illness or injury that can be managed without visiting a hospital emergency department but cannot wait for a regular appointment with a GP.
What conditions/symptoms can be seen at a Medicare UCC?
UCCs are intended to provide short term, episodic care for urgent conditions that are not immediately life-threatening for people of all ages.
A UCC will be equipped to treat problems including:
- Minor illnesses (including respiratory illness, gastrointestinal illness, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections)
- Minor injuries including closed fractures, simple lacerations, simple eye injuries and minor burns
UCCs will be equipped to provide the following procedures:
- Wound management including gluing, suturing and dressings (including for minor burns)
- Incision and drainage of abscesses
- Basic fracture management including application of back slabs and plasters
- Intravenous cannula insertion to allow for IV antibiotics and IV rehydration fluids
- Urinary catheter management and changes for males and females
- Removal of foreign bodies from the ear and nose
UCCs are not intended to treat potentially life-threatening problems (such as cardiac chest pain, severe shortness of breath or altered conscious state) or manage labour and birth.
However, UCCs will have capacity to identify and manage these problems should people present with them including capacity to stabilise conditions whilst awaiting transfer to hospital, including providing resuscitation where required.
How will I know if my complaint is Urgent?
If you are unsure whether the medical condition you are experiencing is urgent you can phone HealthDirect on 1800 022 222 where registered nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide advice when you're not sure what to do. A symptom checker is also available online at www.healthdirect.gov.au
You can also call a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in your area directly.
Can I book at an Urgent Care Clinic if I can’t get in to see my regular GP?
No. Medicare UCCs are not a replacement for health and medical services that are managed in a regular general practice by a doctor such as general screening and health checks, vaccinations and prescriptions, mental health advice, family planning, referrals for tests, scans or specialist care, chronic disease management or preventive health procedures such as cervical screening tests.
How do I get an appointment?
Medicare UCCs offer walk-in appointments for eligible medical conditions. Appointments can also be made directly with the Clinic or via its online booking service.
Will I have to pay to see someone?
No. Treatment at Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are bulk billed.
What do I do if I need an x-ray?
If an x-ray is required it is included in the consultation, similarly with any necessary pathology, and these services will be near the Clinic.
Who will I see when I visit an Urgent Care Clinic?
Medicare Urgent Care Clinic is supported by highly skilled independent doctors and nurses, utilising quality treatment and procedure room facilities. GPs and nurses will assess you when you arrive, and patients will be seen based on clinical priority.
Will my regular GP know I have visited the Urgent Care Clinic?
After your treatment you will receive a discharge summary and any instructions for follow-up care and all paperwork will be accessible by your regular GP via My Health Record.