Urgent Care Centres – Victoria

The Victorian Healthcare Association’s definition of an UCC
– “Urgent Care Centre (UCC): a designated area in a local health service agency to provide emergency resuscitation and limited stabilisation prior to early transfer, otherwise provide limited definitive care depending on local resources.”

  • Public Urgent Care Centre Models
  1. Northern Melbourne From January 2012, after hours access will be improved by increasing access to face-to-face after hours services in the Banyule region, through the establishment of an Urgent Care Centre. This service will provide accessible, timely, affordable and equitable primary care to those residents who require care during the after hours period.
  2. Sandringham had proposed an Urgent Care Centre integrated with the 24 Hour Emergency Department – but operating only from 7am to 10pm. However Alfred Health’s information is a little confusing – because it states that the Urgent Care Centre will provide non-urgent care and the Emergency Department will provide urgent care ?? The ED will resuscitate and stabilise critical care patients prior to their transfer. Also no mention of fee for service at the UCC.
  3. Melton, Victoria, has an Urgent Care Centre that operates from 9am-10.30pm which bulk bills – unclear if seen by Doctors – ie seen by “trained medical staff” – which is not co-located with an Emergency Department.

  • Public Private Partnership Urgent Care Centre Models

In Victoria there are Public Private Partnership (?) fee for service Urgent Care Centres in rural & regional areas such as at:

  1. Boort District Health Service. Boort UCC runs 24 hours per day – 7 days per week. It is staffed by nurses from the wards – ie Triaged with most severe cases dealt with first, and medical services provided by visiting GP’s on a private basis. More severe cases may be transported by ambulance
  2. BenallaStawellKyabramMaryborough(more) , Mt Beauty – Alpine, operate similarly to Boort – with Benalla also utilising Nurse Practitioners, whilst Rochester & Ellmore do not have a government funded UCC – but may be possible for Visiting Medico to attend UCC patients in the hospital – otherwise nearest Accident ED is Bendigo – Echuca.
  3. Seymour – doesn’t always have available doctors after hours – options are to call 000 for Ambulance or to call Local Nurse Triage Service or Victorian Triage Service who may then call in a GP on a fee for service basis. More severe cases may be transported by Ambulance to Seymour Health

  • Private Urgent Care Centre Models
  1. There are Private fee for service Urgent Care Centres such as Ekera / UrgentCareAustralia which deal with non-life threatening conditions. These are open to late during the week and 12-7pm on Weekends – but not 24 x 7. It is unclear as to how much you can be reimbursed.
  2. Victorian based UrgentCareAustralia are also developing Health Care Villages which could provide Urgent Care as one service type : “Urgent Care provides a triage system for patients wishing to see an urgent care physician (emergency trained physician) and avoid a significant waiting period in an acute Emergency Department. This is a sub-acute unit which will accept most service presentations in the Category 4 to 5 tiers with notable exceptions including MVA’s, cardiac arrests and injuries and illnesses that require hospitalization. Therefore, lacerations, fractures, minor burns, muscular-skeletal injuries, asthma, respiratory diseases etc would all be seen and treated with more severe cases forwarded to an applicable Hospital;”. They are seeking to develop 30 such Health Care Villages in Australia, as well as a global expansionprogramme via Prospective Health in the USAAfter hours services would be available but it is unclear if it would be a full 24 hours per day over 365 days per year. However an associated website for Eastern HealthCare Village which provides GP after hours from 7pm-10pm weeknights & in the afternoons on weekends. See Profile of an Urgent Care Centreoperated by Urgent Care Australia for more details- see News Media article – The Age – March 2012

Note – there are Private fee for service Emergency Care Centres servicing patients, triaged from ATS1through to ATS5, operated by Healthscope in their John Fawkner Private Hospital & Knox Private Hospital. However there do not appear to be any Urgent Care Centres associated with these, viz of the type that had been proposed by Healthscope for Hobart in 2009.


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