05 September 2023

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (16:28): Last week the Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic was opened at the Riverlink Medical and Dental Centre at North Ipswich in my electorate. In launching the new centre, I was joined by representatives for the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network, West Moreton Health and, of course, ForHealth, who got the contract to open and run the centre.

The Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic delivers on the Albanese Labor government's commitment to make it easier for the Ipswich community to get the urgent treatment they need while taking pressure off local hospitals such as the Ipswich Hospital. The Ipswich Medicare Urgent Care Clinic is open for extended hours from 7 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 8 am to 10 pm on weekends. The clinic can treat urgent but not life-threatening injuries and illnesses. These include minor emergencies and cases which don't need hospital admissions, like coughs, colds, cuts, burns, bites and broken bones. The services at the clinic are bulk-billed, which means you can take your Medicare card or your number, and there's no need to make an appointment—you can just walk in. It's great for our local community.

I want to thank the highly trained doctors and nurses who provide the care. There is no need for that appointment. This is great news for families and individuals in my community. It makes it cheaper and easier to see a doctor and frees up the diligent doctors and nurses at Ipswich Hospital to focus on saving lives. I want to thank West Moreton Health as well as the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network for the work they've done in collaborating and cooperating in relation to this particular project. And, of course, there's the new satellite hospital in Ripley, which has been opened by the Queensland Labor government, and I'm really pleased to see that. These clinics will work together to provide the health care that our local community needs. It's very, very important. More than 22 per cent of cases presenting at the Ipswich Hospital emergency department are classified as semi- or non-urgent. This clinic will give local patients another option for those urgent but non-life-threatening emergencies. This is really important for our local community. It will make a difference, and it builds on our commitment to strengthen Medicare and make it easier to see a doctor. Already by tripling the bulk billing incentive that will help more than 105,000 patients in Blair.

We've work closely together with the state government, and I'm really pleased in our local area to see the Ripley Satellite Hospital. I thank the Palaszczuk Labor government. That is a very important initiative in a fast-growing area in Ipswich—a minor injury and illness clinic. This Medicare Urgent Care Clinic will complement that Ripley clinic in delivering its services closer to home and taking pressure off our ED and GP services. Thank you to the Minister for Health, Mark Butler, for the vision he had in this area.