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Source: State of Tasmania Government

8 October 2020

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Formal consultation with local health services, consumers and other stakeholders will now progress following the release of the Urgent Care Centre feasibility study by the Department of Health today.

The study was commissioned by the Tasmanian Government to consider the feasibility of establishing Urgent Care Centres in the greater Hobart and Launceston areas, to help take pressure off emergency departments and provide more treatment options for patients, closer to home.

In line with the recommendations of the report, the Department of Health will now engage with stakeholders on the findings of the study and what delivery models might look like.

The report found there are feasible service models of UCCs for Tasmania, with locations for Hobart and Launceston recommended as Glenorchy and Mowbray, respectively.

The study notes estimated costs of close to $100 million to open and operate the two UCCs over a ten year period, with potential presentations peaking at the end of the ten years as approximately 26,000 at the Hobart UCC, and 17,000 at the Launceston UCC.

This represents up to 42,000 emergency presentations that could be treated in a year at full capacity – reducing ED waiting times for more urgent cases, as well as helping reduce ambulance ramping and improve response times.

The study recommends that further work is required to consult with stakeholders, including looking at alignment with existing community-based services, such as emerging primary care services, the Community Rapid Response Service, acute Hospital in the Home, and extended care paramedics.

It is important to acknowledge that since the study was first commissioned, there have been further local services either planning or delivering increased after-hours services in Hobart and Launceston, or are actively considering expanding to do this.

There have also been new and revised urgent care models emerge nationally and internationally.

The Department will ensure this evolving landscape and new services are recognised in the selection of any future operating model for a UCC.

The report can be found at: https://www.health.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/414401/Urgent_Care_Centre_Feasibility_Assessment.pdf

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