Big change to emergency healthcare

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The Andrews government has opened ten new priority health centres in Victoria to alleviate pressure from busy emergency departments

The ten free priority care centres have already seen more than 6,000 patients walk through their doors.

At a time when the state’s health system is facing record levels of demand, the centres play a crucial role in reducing wait times while also providing an alternative service for those who cannot see their regular GP.

Premier Daniel Andrews said it should be a “basic right” to get healthcare at no cost and the primary care system is “broken”.

Ten new priority care centres have opened in Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David CroslingTen new priority care centres have opened in Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

“Far too many Victorians can’t get in to see a GP at all, let alone one who bulk bills,” he said.

“Our primary care system is broken.”

Doctors and nurses are trained to treat everything from mild infections, fractures and burns to pathology and medical imaging.

Most of the clinics are operating 7 days a week and up to 16 hours a day with walk-in appointments available and no Medicare card required.

The centres are aimed at alleviating pressure on the healthcare system. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicki ConnollyThe centres are aimed at alleviating pressure on the healthcare system. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly

The ten existing centres have opened in:

  • Heidelberg
  • Ballarat
  • Dandenong
  • Epping
  • Frankston
  • Glen Waverley
  • Moonee Ponds
  • Narre Warren
  • Prahran
  • Sunshine

Early data has shown that the centres are reducing pressure on nearby emergency departments and fifteen more have already been green-lit to be completed by February.

The new centres will be built at Bendigo, Mildura, Sunbury, Albury Wodonga Health – Wodonga, Box Hill Hospital, Footscray Hospital, Goulburn Valley Health – Shepparton, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Maroondah Hospital, Mercy Werribee, Northern Health – Craigieburn, Royal Children’s Hospital, St Vincent‘s, University Hospital Geelong and West Gippsland Healthcare Group,

The $70m project is part of the Andrews government’s plan to fill gaps in primary care across Victoria which also includes 30 state-funded GP respiratory clinics.

Read related topics:Melbourne

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