Docs on call pledge

Labor Barker candidate Mark Braes has pledged that a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic would be created in Barker if the Labor Party wins this month’s Federal Election.

The clinic would be one of at least 50 created across Australia within GP surgeries and community health centres.

The seven day a week clinics have been designed to take the pressure off hospital emergency departments by providing an alternative option for those needing urgent care from a doctor or nurse.

They will treat sprains and broken bones, cuts, wounds, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems and minor burns.

Care will be bulk billed, meaning families will not be out-of-pocket for having a loved one attended to – just like if they’d gone to a public hospital.

Mr Braes said under Labor families in Barker “will get the bulk-billed urgent medical care they need, without having to wait hours at over-burdened hospital emergency departments”.

“I have been advocating for a Labor Medicare Urgent Care Clinic for the South East because the Mount Gambier Hospital services a large community and its emergency department is already under significant strain,” he said.

“Only an Albanese Labor Government will deliver an Urgent Care Clinic with no out-of-pocket costs for people in the South East,” Mr Braes said.

He said each clinic would differ in size and structure, and the Urgent Care Clinic in Barker would be tailored to meet community needs.

Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler said Labor would invest over $135m across four years to establish a trial of the clinics across Australia.

“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics are a practical, tangible example of Labor’s commitment to strengthen Medicare and make it easier for families to access care,” he said.

“Medicare is the bedrock of our health system and by using it to help take the pressure off hospital emergency departments we can make the whole system stronger.”

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