More help for southern suburbs families, less pressure on hospitals

Published on Tue 19 April 2022 11:40am

Under Labor, families in Perth’s southern suburbs 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 the southern suburbs.

Only Josh Wilson, Sam Lim and Labor have a plan to expand GP emergency care access in the southern suburbs by delivering a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic near Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Local families are already struggling to access emergency care, and are under pressure from rising out of pocket costs to see a GP which only contributes to the strain on household budgets. Under the Liberals, out of pocket costs to see a GP in Fremantle and Tangney have gone up by 30 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 near Fiona Stanley Hospital 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.

Comments attributed to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese:

“Labor’s Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will mean more families will get top quality care from a nurse or a doctor without having to wait in a hospital emergency department.

“These clinics are a key part of Labor’s plan to strengthen Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor.

“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off emergency departments, so they can concentrate on saving lives.”

Comments attributed to Shadow Health Minister 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.”

Comments attributed to Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson:

“This important commitment will ease the pressure on our local hospitals, ensuring Fremantle and Cockburn families can see a doctor, rather than wait in an emergency room.

Comments attributed to Labor candidate for Tangney Sam Lim:

“I welcome this investment to ease the pressure at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

“The only way to end the Federal Liberals’ cut to healthcare and to see healthcare investment in our community is to vote for an Albanese Labor Government.”

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