A new Urgent Care Clinic will open in Bundaberg to provide immediate non-life-threatening health care to the community.
The Bundaberg Urgent Care Clinic makes up one of 11 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs) committed for Queensland during the most recent federal election and marks a pivotal moment in advancing the standard of healthcare accessibility for the residents of Bundaberg.
Country to Coast, QLD Chief Executive Officer Julie Sturgess announced Indigenous Wellbeing Centre (IWC) has been selected as the exclusive provider of the Medicare Urgent Care Clinic for the Bundaberg region with its doors partially opening from 20 November 2023.
“We are thrilled to announce IWC, located at 184 Barolin Street, Walkervale will commence delivering urgent care services to the Bundaberg community from 20 November 2023,” she said.
“The urgent care model aims to help relieve pressure on local hospitals, allowing emergency departments to focus on emergencies, while providing patients thorough, timely treatment in well-equipped medical facilities.”
IWC is a not-for-profit health and community services provider delivering inclusive services to all members of the Bundaberg community.
The Bundaberg UCC will provide episodic treatment for minor injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening, where the patient is unable to get an appointment with their usual GP.
IWC Chief Executive Officer Wayne Mulvany said the organisation was proud to announce its selection.
“As the designated provider of Bundaberg’s Urgent Care Clinic, IWC is committed to delivering quality care and treatment, for everyone in our community,” he said.
“This is a new service and there will be an initial settling period where we’ll operate on our normal business hours of 8 am to 5 pm until we ramp up to full operation in early 2024 with availability of the service on extended hours.”
When the clinic opens, Bundaberg locals will be able to receive bulk-billed care and treatment of acute conditions that don’t require emergency treatment.
Medicare UCCs aim to reduce the pressure on hospitals and the emergency system, providing more capacity for patients with life-threatening injuries and illnesses to be prioritised with a greater level of urgency.
Some of the specific conditions Medicare UCCs can provide treatment for, include respiratory illnesses, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), gastrointestinal illnesses, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and minor injuries, including minor fractures, simple lacerations, simple eye injuries and minor burns.
IWC Medical Director Dr Alicia Kohn said patients should still attempt to see their regular GP for non-urgent, routine and chronic conditions.
“While the introduction of Medicare UCCs is an exciting and important development for the nation’s health care, it’s important that the public understands that these clinics are not a replacement for seeing your regular GP,” she said.
“GPs have a close relationship and documented history with their patients.”
Wayne Mulvany said the UCC was a signficant development, and an example of what could be achieved by organisations like IWC.
“Since our beginnings, our organisation has been committed to delivering truly inclusive services, by developing services built around our holistic and culturally responsive foundations and then making them available to everyone in our community,” he said.
“The Bundaberg Medicare Urgent Care Clinic is another way we’re demonstrating this ethos to everyone in our community.”
Members of the community do not need an appointment or referral, they just need to bring along their Medicare card.
Patients can make an appointment or walk in and wait to be seen.
IWC is located at 184 Barolin Street, Walkervale.
More information about Urgent Care Clinics can be found here.