Bridgewater to get new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic

Bridgewater to get new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic
Bridgewater to get new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic

Bridgewater will soon become home to the state’s newest bulk-billed Medicare Urgent Care Clinic as work continues to reduce pressure on the Royal Hobart Hospital’s emergency department.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the clinic will be Tasmania’s fifth and will be established through a government tender process, in consultation with the state’s primary health network.

“There have been over 25,000 presentations to the four Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in Tasmania [since the first sites opened in June 2023]meaning patients have been able to receive urgent care quickly and for free,” Butler said.

“A Bridgewater Urgent Care Clinic will mean more Tasmanians can access this fantastic health service instead of waiting in hospital emergency departments.”

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler

But Tasmanian Health Minister Guy Barnett argues that one new clinic is far from enough to meet the state’s growing healthcare needs.

He has repeatedly called on the federal government to fund at least five new UCCs in growing areas like Sorell, Kingston, Burnie and Launceston.

Tasmanian Health Minister Guy Barnett. Image / Supplied

“While we welcome the announcement of a new UCC in Bridgewater, it is far from enough,” Barnett said.

“Federal funding for additional urgent care clinics in Tasmania is grossly inadequate and based on current allocations, Tasmania will only receive one additional clinic.”

The new clinic in Bridgewater is part of a broader federal plan to establish 29 new UCCs across Australia.

The Tasmanian Government has already partnered in one center and solely funded a fifth Urgent Care Center at Newstead in Launceston.

“Right now in Tasmania there are multiple areas with identified need for bulk-billed urgent care clinics and we will continue to fight for the healthcare that Tasmanians need and deserve,” Barnett said.

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