More help for South Coast families, less pressure on hospitals

More help for South Coast families, less pressure on hospitals Main Image

10 May 2022





Under Labor, families in Gilmore and across the South Coast will get the bulk billed urgent medical care they need, without having to wait hours at over-burdened hospital emergency departments.

An Albanese Labor Government will fund Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to be based at GP surgeries and Community Health Centres in at least 50 locations across Australia, including in Gilmore.

Only Fiona Phillips and Labor have a plan to expand GP emergency care access in Gilmore by delivering a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic at Batemans Bay.

The community across the South Coast is struggling with a full-blown healthcare crisis.

People are finding it harder and harder to see a GP, access emergency care, maternity, neo-natal and paediatric health services, and their already strained household budgets are being hit by the rising out of pocket cost to see a GP.

Under Scott Morrison and the Liberals, out-of-pocket costs to see a GP in the South Coast electorate of Gilmore have gone up by 46 per cent.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off hospital emergency departments by providing an alternative option for families needing urgent care from a doctor or nurse. They will treat sprains and broken bones, cuts, wounds, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems and minor burns.

Care will be bulk billed, meaning families won’t be out-of-pocket for having a loved one attended to, just like if they’d gone to a public hospital.

They’ll be open seven days a week from at least 8am to 10pm – the time when the majority of non-life-threatening injuries occur.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will relieve pressure on hospitals, and free up dedicated nurses and doctors at hospital emergency departments so they can focus on providing care for serious and life-threating presentations.

Each clinic will differ in size and structure, and the Urgent Care Clinic at Batemans Bay in Gilmore will be tailored to meet the needs of the local community.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will be located across Australia – in every State and Territory.

Labor will invest over $135 million across four years to establish a trial of 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.

Quotes attributable to Mark Butler:

“Medicare Urgent Care Centres are a practical, tangible example of Labor’s commitment to strengthen Medicare and make it easier for families to access care.

“Medicare is the bedrock of our health system and by using it to help take the pressure off hospital emergency departments we make can the whole system stronger.”

Quotes attributable to Fiona Phillips:

“We’re in the middle of a full-blown healthcare crisis here on the South Coast and we’ve been on the receiving end of cuts and neglect caused by Federal and State Liberal Governments for years.

“It should be getting easier, not harder, to see a GP. But the out-of-pocket cost to see one is getting even higher, which is the last thing our community needs when we are already struggling with the cost of living.

“That’s why I’ve been fighting for better health services for everyone in our community, and I’m so pleased that if elected, an Albanese Labor Government will build an Urgent Care Clinic in Batemans Bay.

“This will make it easier for people to see a GP and increase access to bulk billing, so people don’t have to pay those out-of-pocket costs.”