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Mon. May 20th, 2024

As promised in the last federal election campaign, Tamworth will soon get an extended hours Urgent Care Clinic, with the Prime Minister announcing today that Northwest Health will operate the clinic at their East Tamworth Medical Centre in Marius Street.

Medicare UCCs will operate extended business hours, accept walk-in patients, and provide bulk billed services resulting in no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Northwest Health won the right to operate the clinic through a comprehensive tender process run by Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network. The clinic is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to establish 58 Medicare UCCs across  Australia, including 14 in New South Wales. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the clinics are about making it easier for people see a doctore and ease pressure on hospitals.

“The Tamworth Medicare UCC will make a big difference to patients in the region who will be able to walk in seven days a week and get free urgent care from a nurse or a doctor.”

“The clinic will ease pressure on Tamworth Hospital, so that its hard-working doctors and nurses can focus higher priority emergencies,” he said.

HNECC Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer Richard Nankervis said Northwest Health’s  East Tamworth Medical Centre in Marius Street will begin seeing patients at the new Medicare UCC  in October this year. 

“The PHN is pleased to partner with Northwest Health to provide the Tamworth community an  alternative primary health care service that will help ease the pressure on the local Emergency  Department,” he said. 

Almost 63 per cent of presentations to Tamworth Hospital are for non-urgent or semi-urgent care, and it is hoped the urgent care clinic will help reduce that burden.

“By establishing a Medicare UCC co-located with its Medical Centre, Northwest Health is delivering  much needed care for people with urgent but not life-threatening medical conditions.” 

“Northwest Health has been providing primary care to the region since 2006. Its team of GPs,  practice nurses, management and support staff provide a professional and caring environment to  deliver high quality, best practice general medicine to families and individuals.” 

“Importantly, the  Northwest Health UCC team will link back to each patient’s regular GP to confirm the treatment  provided and ensure continuity of care,” Mr Nankervis said.

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