IPSWICH Hospital’s over-taxed Emergency Department will get much-needed relief from two major health initiatives launched this week.
Joining the opening of the Ripley Satellite Hospital yesterday was the launch of a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic on Monday at the Riverlink medical precinct in North Ipswich.
The Ipswich UCC will provide free, urgent treatment for conditions that aren’t life threatening.
It is basically for patients who need time-sensitive care who can’t get in to see their GP.
Patients will be bulk-billed and able to walk in to use the service at Riverlink during extended hours, 7 days a week, including on public holidays.
Any diagnostic services, such as radiology and pathology, will also be provided with no out of pocket fees to the patient.
Patients can self-refer or be referred by a GP, hospital emergency department, 13 HEALTH or Queensland Ambulance Service.
The Medicare UCC will treat urgent injuries and illnesses such as minor infections, fractures and sports injuries, minor cuts and abrasions, insect bites, rashes, respiratory conditions like fevers and coughs, and gastro conditions, like diarrhoea and vomiting.
Medicare UCCs won’t be able to see people for major trauma or complex conditions.
The Medicare UCC is not a substitute for a patient’s usual doctor, who should continue to be the first point of contact for non-emergency, routine, or preventative health care.
The Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) was chosen to be run by Riverlink Medical and Dental Centre following a detailed selection process earlier this year.
Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Lucille Chalmers said that Medicare UCCs are about increasing access to immediate medical services in our community and avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital.
Federal Blair MP, Shayne Neumann, said the new Medicare UCC will be a valued service for families and individuals across the city, who would prefer not to wait for care – possibly for hours – in the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department.
West Moreton Health CEO Hannah Bloch said the Medicare UCC is expected to reduce presentations to Ipswich Hospital, saving our Emergency Department for true emergencies.
The Medicare UCC program is supported by funding from Darling Downs & West Moreton Primary Health Network.