Media Release: Urgent Care Clinic opens in Ipswich
August 28, 2023
Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is delighted to announce the opening of the Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic today, Monday 28 August, at Riverlink in North Ipswich.
The Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) will provide free, urgent treatment for conditions that aren’t life threatening. It is for when you need time-sensitive care and can’t see your GP, but you don’t need to go to the emergency department.
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.
Where needed, the Medicare UCC will contact the local emergency department (ED) when referring patients whose medical issues require a higher level of care. Information about the care provided will be issued to the usual GP of patients who attend the Medicare UCC.
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. In the case of an emergency, Triple Zero (000) remains the best point of contact.
The Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) is being run by Riverlink Medical & Dental Centre, based centrally in North Ipswich. Riverlink Medical & Dental Centre was selected to provide this service following a detailed selection process earlier this year.
The selection and establishment of the Ipswich Medicare UCC involved close collaboration between the PHN and West Moreton Health to provide timely, coordinated care for the community.
The Medicare UCC program is supported by funding from Darling Downs & West Moreton Primary Health Network through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.
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.
“In selecting Riverlink Medical & Dental Centre as the service provider for the Medicare UCC, we considered things like accessibility of the location, availability of GP services and proximity to the hospital,” said Ms Chalmers.
“The Ipswich Medicare UCC is centrally located, with a provider who already has an understanding of, and experience in, providing for the health needs in our area.”
Shayne Neumann, Federal member for Blair, described Ipswich as the fastest growing city in Queensland, which makes it vital that infrastructure and health providers keep pace.
“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.”
“The Riverlink Medical & Dental Centre at Riverlink Shopping Centre in North Ipswich will be open for business every day of the week,” Mr Neumann said.
West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch welcomed the announcement, saying it would bring a great benefit to the region.
“The Medicare UCC is expected to reduce presentations to Ipswich Hospital, saving our Emergency Department for true emergencies,” Ms Bloch said.
“We are working together to ensure the community receives the right treatment in the right place at the right time.”
More information is available at FindtheRightCare.com.au/UrgentCare.