22 May 2024

More funding for Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinic


Joint media release with

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Hon Brian Mitchell MP
Member for Lyons

The Albanese Government is delivering more funding to the Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinic to provide bulk billed healthcare service to more Tasmanians, off the back of a big focus on the cost of living in the Budget.

There have been around 12,000 visits to the Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinic since it opened last year, making it one of the busiest in the country.

A quarter of visits to Medicare Urgent Care Clinics in Tasmania have taken place on the weekend and a quarter of visits have been from children under 15 years old.

The additional funding allocated in the Albanese Labor Government’s third Budget will ensure the Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinic continues to ease the pressure on the Launceston General Hospital and provide quality healthcare to people who urgently need it.

The funding is part of the broader package to establish 29 more Medicare Urgent Care Clinics through a $227 million expansion announced in the latest Budget.

The Australian Government has already opened 58 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics across the country, which have seen more than 400,000 visits since the first clinic opened in June 2023.

Quotes attributable to the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP:

“This is a Budget that takes care of Tasmanians.

“Our economic plan and our Budget are all about easing the cost of living in places like Launceston and that’s what this important investment will achieve – giving more patients more access to a bulk billing doctor.

“The Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinic is already taking pressure off the over stretched Launceston General Hospital and this additional investment in the Budget will enable this clinic to expand.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler MP:

“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are already delivering for Tasmanians.

“There have been around 12,000 presentations to the Launceston Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, meaning patients have been able to receive urgent care quickly and for free.

“Our broader investments in strengthening Medicare will also support older Tasmanians to get better care outside of the hospital system, further reducing the load on local hospitals and freeing up beds for other patients.

“All Tasmanians need to visit an Urgent Care Clinic is their Medicare card, not a credit card.

“Ensuring all Australians receive the right care as quickly as possible has always been my priority. That’s why I’m so proud to continue the support for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.”

Quotes attributable to Brian Mitchell MP:

“Labor’s Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Launceston is delivering terrific emergency care and taking pressure off the LGH, giving hospital ED doctors and nurses some much needed breathing room.

“The vast majority of people being cared for at the Launnie Medicare UCC would have otherwise headed to the ED – that equates to thousands of presentations each year being saved.

“Labor’s Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are a vital part of Australia’s continuing Medicare success story, providing bulk‑billed healthcare to Tasmanians when they need it.”