Medicare Urgent Care Clinics

Healthy North Coast is supporting the Australian Government’s establishment of GP-led Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs) in Lismore and Coffs Harbour. 

Coffs Harbour and Lismore are among 14 NSW locations identified for the establishment of Medicare UCCs, which are a new model of care designed to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.

Medicare UCCs are being established to complement the NSW Government’s Urgent Care Services (UCSs)

Read more about the Medicare UCCs in our area: 

Coffs Harbour Medicare Urgent Care Clinic

  • Operator: CHC Medical
  • Location: Level 1, Specialist Medical Centre, 343-345 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
  • Refer to their website for opening hours and contact information

Lismore Medicare Urgent Care Clinic

  • Operator: Lismore GP Super Clinic
  • Location: 33-35 Rous Rd, Goonellabah NSW 2480
  • Refer to their website for opening hours and contact information

Frequently asked questions

The Australian Government has recently provided updated information about their Medicare Urgent Care Centres, announcing the 14 UCC sites that are part of their over $135 million investment to establish up to 50 UCCs nationally. If you have a question that is not covered in the FAQs below, please use the contact form above to get in touch. 

  • Medicare UCCs will ease the pressure on our hospitals and give Australian families more options to see a healthcare professional when they have an urgent, but not life-threatening, need for care. The clinics will:
    • be based in existing GP clinics and community health centres.
    • provide free services.
    • be open after normal business hours and accept walk-in patients.
    • provide treatments that would not require a hospital admission such as broken bones, wounds, and minor burns.
    • be diverse and respond to the needs of the local community.
  • Medicare UCCs will work hand in glove with local hospital systems and primary health care providers to ensure that people receive the right care and are referred to the right place for their needs.
  • Albury 
  • Batemans Bay 
  • Blacktown 
  • Campbelltown 
  • Cessnock 
  • Coffs Harbour 
  • Gosford 
  • Lismore 
  • Penrith 
  • Randwick 
  • Tamworth 
  • Westmead 
  • Wollongong 
  • Wyong
  • All existing general practices, community health centres and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the locations announced (for our Healthy North Coast region this is Coffs Harbour and Lismore) will be eligible to put forward a registration of interest.
  • Primary care providers, like GPs, are well placed to deal with the sorts of presentations we expect to see in UCCs – they already do so. 
  • Providers who have applied in previous Expression of Interest processes in New South Wales do not need to re-apply but should engage with the relevant Primary Health Network. 
  • Healthy North Coast will be contacting those that have provided their contact details via the form above to provide more information about the EOI process.
  • The Government announced $135 million to commence establishment of UCCs.
  • There has been strong interest from the public and providers in Medicare UCCs and there is commitment to resourcing them properly.
  • The precise amounts available to support Medicare UCCs in NSW will be subject to discussions between Healthy North Coast and interested practices.
  • Providers operating a Medicare UCC will receive:
    • An upfront grant depending on the size of the clinic, to cover initial infrastructure costs
    • Annual operating grants to cover basic staffing (GP, nurse, administrator) sufficient to meet expected demand on the clinic
    • Access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to claim relevant items for a Medicare UCC.

The Commonwealth has been working closely with the NSW Government to ensure both UCS and UCCs are complementary and contribute to a well-integrated urgent care ecosystem.

Following the EOI applications assessment process and contingent on finding a suitable provider, the 14 UCCs will open in NSW from 1 July 2023.

  • The Medicare UCC program will be evaluated to identify the impact and outcomes on the community and the health system more broadly and inform future health reform policy.
  • The evaluation will start as the clinics open and will continue for the duration of the program.
  • The Australian Government recognises there are significant existing challenges in securing health workforce, particularly after-hours, and that this challenge is greatest in rural and remote communities. 
  • Medicare UCCs are intended to be GP led, with staffing mix based on the local context. 
  • Staffing mix may also include other suitably qualified medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, extended care paramedics, allied health and Aboriginal Health Practitioners, depending on local circumstances. 
  • It will be essential to use the existing workforce as efficiently as possible and potentially look at alternative models of care depending on local needs. 
  • The Australian Government will work with the states and territories and other stakeholders on allowing flexibility for Medicare UCCs to adapt to local conditions and needs, including where there are particular workforce shortages.
  • No. Medicare UCCs will be based in existing general practices, community health centres or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
  • A one-off, upfront payment will be available for practices to ensure they are able to make any necessary equipment upgrades.
  • The Australian Government is aware and acknowledges the concerns raised by stakeholders of the potential for the Medicare UCCs to have unintended impacts on surrounding primary care providers.
  • Medicare UCCs are to provide short term, episodic care for urgent conditions that are not life-threatening – they are not intended to replace someone’s usual GP. 
  • To minimise the risk of impact, the Department of Health and Aged Care has been working with jurisdictions, PHNs and peak bodies to develop strategies that reduce potential impacts on surrounding GP practices. 
  • These include: 
    • nationally agreed operational guidance to set out a specific scope of practice for Medicare UCCs
    • restriction of billable MBS items to only those which would be appropriate under the operational guidance.
  • The Department will monitor trends over time, including as part of evaluation, and work with PHNs to identify any areas of concern
  • Local level solutions will be developed where needed.