Media Release: Labor puts Urgent Care on Back Burner

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Labor puts Urgent Care on Back Burner

Townsville locals have been left hurting after the Albanese Labor Government broke its promise to deliver a bulk-billing, urgent care clinic in the region.
During the 2022 Federal Election campaign, the Albanese Labor Government committed to delivering 50 Medicare urgent care clinics across Australia to be established by May 2023, with one later announced for Townsville. The clinics were expected to have extended operating hours and charge no out-of-pocket costs to patients.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said community members like Mt Low resident Mikayla Lovegrove are telling him they’re struggling to find affordable healthcare for their families.
“This was an election commitment that the Health Minister labelled as ‘a real priority’ but young mums like Mikayla aren’t able to use them because they still don’t exist long after they were promised to be up and running,” Mr Thompson said.
“The inaction of the Albanese Labor Government is affecting our community’s ability to get by, with cost of living now through the roof and healthcare inaccessible.”
Ms Lovegrove said that it was near impossible to find urgent care for her 2-year-old son Jackson and 6-month-old daughter Harper, when needed.
“Three times I have been left to wait outside with a sick child for over an hour, but it’s what you do when it’s the only bulk billing place close to you,” Ms Lovegrove said.
“I cannot afford to be out of pocket whenever my children catch something, so another facility would have definitely been beneficial.”
Mr Thompson has written to Labor Health Minister Mark Butler, requesting an update on the clinic.
“I want dates and timelines for the clinic’s establishment in Townsville and I will be holding them accountable to those dates,” Mr. Thompson said.


Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson with young Mum, Mikayla Lovegrove and 6-month-old daughter, Harper Hogben.

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