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Federal election 2022: Labor’s plans for WA bulk-billing urgent care medical centres

Labor has announced the seven WA locations it will establish bulk-billing urgent care medical centres, to help alleviate the State’s besieged hospital system, if it wins government.

Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will be established near hospitals in the CBD, Murdoch, Joondalup, Rockingham and Midland across Perth should Labor be elected to power at the May 21 Federal election.

The clinics will also be rolled out to regional centres Bunbury and Broome.

The committent comes as WA Labor, under Premier Mark McGowan, grapples with the State’s worst levels of ambulance ramping on record.

St John paramedics spent more than 5639 hours waiting to transfer patients into WA hospitals last month, the second-worst month for ramping after the 6525 hours recorded last August.

Labor pledged to spend $135 million on creating 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics across the country to lure voters ahead of next month’s poll.

Ambulance ramping at Royal Perth Hospital.
Camera IconAmbulance ramping at Royal Perth Hospital. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Deputy Labor Richard Marles while announcing program’s WA clinic locations in Midland on Monday, said they would “take the pressure of emergency departments, so they can concentrate on saving lives”.

“Right now there is a gap in the healthcare services that are provided to people in Midland, people of WA and in fact to the nation,” Mr Marles said.

“And that gap is non-life threatening, urgent medical care.

“Our emergency departments around Australia are under an unprecedented level of pressure and strain… emergency departments which were designed for once in a lifetime emergencies such as a heart attack or car accident.“They are dealing with a whole lot of urgent, but lesser conditions. . . that’s why Labor has announced, if elected, we will establish 50 urgent care clinics around Australia in areas of greatest need.”

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