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Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (UCCs)

Medicare UCC logoThe Australian Government has invested in 58 Medicare UCCs nationally, to deliver a new model of care to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments (EDs). Eleven new Medicare UCCs have been established in Queensland, with one in Cairns and one in Townsville. 

The Australian and Queensland Governments have determined that Primary Health Networks (PHNs) will commission Medicare UCCs in Queensland. This has required NQPHN to work closely with the Australian Government, the Queensland Department of Health, Hospital and Health Services, and local health service providers. 

Anyone can access urgent care at the clinics when they need medical attention for an illness or injury that is non-life-threatening and can be managed without a trip to the ED but cannot wait for an appointment with their regular GP. 


The Medicare UCC is a bulk-billed walk-in service and patients won't need an appointment or referral to be seen. 

If required, diagnostic services, such as radiology and pathology, will be provided with no out-of-pocket fees to patient. 

Medicare UCCs are not a replacement for people seeing their regular GP and patients will always be referred back to their regular GP for follow up care. A patient’s regular GP should be the first point of contact for routine and preventative health care. 

For more information, visit https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/medicare-urgent-care-clinics  

Local Medicare UCCs:
  • Monday to Friday 8am - 10pm
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays 9am - 6pm
  • Patients presenting to the Cairns South Medicare UCC with urgent but not-life-threatening conditions that require an x-ray or ultrasound are now able to access these services on-site with no out-of-pocket costs. Radiology is available from 10am to 6pm seven days a week. Ultrasound is available 10am to 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • 5b Walker Road, Edmonton
  • (07) 4015 2987
  • cairnsurgentcare.com.au
  • Open 7 days a week, from 11am to 9pm
  • 86 Thuringowa Drive, Thuringowa Central 
  • (07) 4434 5090
  • townsvilleucc.com.au
Choosing the right care

A patient's regular GP should continue to be the first point of contact for non-emergency, routine, and preventative health care. Some GPs also offer same day appointments.

Care provided by a regular GP includes:

  • diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and illnesses
  • general screening and health checks
  • vaccinations and prescriptions
  • mental health advice
  • family planning advice
  • referrals for tests, scans or specialist care.

Medicare UCCs will not see people for things like chronic disease management or preventative health procedures such as cervical screening tests.

Urgent care is when you need medical attention for an illness or injury that can be managed without a trip to the emergency department, but cannot wait for a regular appointment with a general practitioner (GP).

Medicare UCCs provide acute episodic care and treatment that does not require a hospital admission. This may include:

  • minor infections
  • minor fractures, sprains, sports injuries and neck and back pain
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • minor cuts
  • insect bites and rashes
  • minor eye and ear problems
  • respiratory illness
  • gastroenteritis
  • mild burns.

Emergency or life-threatening illnesses and injuries require immediate medical attention and management by an emergency department or hospital.

If a patient has a life-threatening injury or illness, they should not attend a Medicare UCC. Call triple zero (000) or go to your nearest emergency department. 

Do not attend a Medicare UCC for:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • breathing difficulties
  • uncontrollable bleeding 
  • severe burns 
  • poisoning
  • numbness or paralysis 
  • unconsciousness 
  • unresponsiveness
  • seizures 
  • ongoing fever in infants.
Health professional FAQs

Yes, if the issue is an urgent care matter as outlined in this flyer, you can provide patients with the contact details of the closest Medicare UCC. However, patients do not need a referral to attend a Medicare UCC. 

No. There are limited MBS items that patients can access at the Medicare UCC and the patient’s usual GP is still the first point of contact for non-emergency, routine, and preventative health care.  

Medicare UCCs won’t be able to see people for things like chronic disease management or preventive health procedures such as cervical screening tests. A patient attending a Medicare UCC for non-emergency, routine or preventative health care will be referred back to their nominated usual GP. 

Yes. Any patient attending a Medicare UCC will have a discharge summary issued. The summary will be: 

  • uploaded into My Health Record (unless requested not do so by the patient) 

  • electronically provided to the patient’s nominated usual GP/practice within 24 hours. 

If electronic transfer is not possible or the patient does not name a usual GP, the patient will be given a hard copy of the discharge summary. 

The Medicare UCC will also advise the patient’s nominated usual GP of any test results. 

Yes, the Townsville Medicare UCC has arrangements in place with diagnostic imaging and laboratory-based pathology services near the Medicare UCC.

Patients presenting to the Cairns South Medicare UCC with urgent but not-life-threatening conditions that require an x-ray or ultrasound are now able to access these services on-site with no out-of-pocket costs. Radiology is available from 10am to 6pm seven days a week. Ultrasound is available 10am to 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Townsville and Cairns UCCs will provide urgent health care with no out-of-pocket costs for patients. Any diagnostic services, such as radiology and pathology, will also be provided with no out-of-pocket costs for patients. 

A national and local communications campaign will help people identify the right place to go for care, depending on their condition and level of care required. Various resources are available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website here.

17 April 2024