The QNMU has welcomed Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s pledge to establish new Medicare Urgent Care Centres at 50 locations across the country – taking the pressure off stretched emergency departments.
The QNMU believes the community-health model of care would not only provide Queenslanders with a new model of primary care, but importantly alleviate the increasing workload pressures on hard-working nurses struggling with unprecedented demands in our public health settings.
Mr Albanese said Labor would provide $135 million for the bulk-billing Urgent Care Centres, delivering care for non-life-threatening illnesses, such as broken bones, wounds and minor burns.
Welcoming Labor’s announcement, QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said the union had long-campaigned for the creation of local Queensland health hubs, redirecting primary health care services away from hospitals into community settings.
“The demand for acute health care services in Queensland has skyrocketed, particularly with the COVID-pandemic placing extraordinary pressure on our frontline public hospital nurses,” Ms Mohle said today.
“The fact is, many people presenting at EDs could be cared for outside of hospital, which is why this new model of care will re-direct treatment away from hospital settings into local health clinics. It will give people the treatment they need, when they need it, with no out-of-pocket costs.
“From our perspective, it’s a common-sense solution that will take pressure off stretched EDs and resources - and alleviate the workloads of our frontline nurses currently bearing the brunt of unprecedented demand.
“The QNMU will now liaise with Labor about staffing the centres, as we believe nurse navigators, nurse practitioners and midwives must have a leading role to play in this new community health model, as we’ve seen with the success of walk-in community clinics in the ACT.
“Given the sheer size of our nursing and midwifery workforce, our members are more accessible and available and also have the expertise and experience in collaborating with GPs and other health professionals, in order to deliver quality care for all Queenslanders.”
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