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New Medicare Urgent Care Clinic opens in Alice Springs

Dechlan Brennan -

Alice Springs residents will have better access to medical care with the opening of the new Medicare Urgent Care Clinic.

Operated by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC), the Alice Springs Medical Urgent Care Clinic (Medicare UCC) started seeing patients with urgent needs as of Monday.

The clinic, located at the Northside Shopping Complex, will be open seven days a week and offers bulk billed, walk-in care.

A government statement said almost half of presentations to the emergency department in Alice Springs during 2021-22 were for non-urgent or semi-urgent care.

The member for Lingiari - the vast electorate that takes in Alice Springs - Marion Scrymgour, said the centre will ease pressure on local emergency departments, and provide convenient medical care for the community.

"I've heard from people across Alice Springs how difficult it can be to access medical care when they have a pressing health concern, but they can't get in to see a GP," the MP, who has links to the Tiwi Islands and Central Australia said.

"Most people in this situation end up in the emergency department, or, worse, they simply go without care."

Northern Territory Senator and proud Yanyuwa woman, Malarndirri McCarthy, said the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Medicare UCC will make health care in the Red Centre more accessible and affordable.

"Congress has a proud history of providing exceptional medical care and it's exciting to see this new bulk-billed service open to the people of Alice Springs," Ms McCarthy said.

"Patients can walk in without an appointment, see a doctor or nurse and access imaging and pathology services.

"The clinic will ease pressure on the Alice Springs Hospital, so that their hard-working doctors and nurses can focus on higher priority emergencies."

More information on the Alice Springs Medicare UCC can be found on the mparntwe Urgent Care Clinic website.

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