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Nurse-led clinics will provide free, quality care for Queenslanders

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) 2 mins read

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) says the success of nurse-led clinics in the ACT shows that the roll-out of similar models of primary care clinics in Queensland, will allow more Queenslanders to receive free, quality care in the community, without the need to go to a hospital emergency department (ED) or to see a doctor.


QNMU Secretary Sarah Beaman described the introduction of bulk-billed, nurse-led clinics as a ‘common-sense-solution’ in giving people access to primary healthcare at a time of chronic workforce shortages and the cost-of-living crisis.


“As we’ve seen in the ACT, nurse-led walk-in clinics have become a valued healthcare option in the community, playing an important role in providing people with free healthcare for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries,” Ms Beaman said.


“Last year in the ACT, there were over 115,000 presentations across their network of nurse-led clinics, which was more than the total number of ED presentations to North Canberra Hospital and an overall decline in the proportion of primary care presentations to the ACT’s EDs. It demonstrates how this holistic approach to strengthening primary healthcare can alleviate pressure on hospital EDs and give people access to safe, quality care, when and where they need it.


“As we know, people are struggling to see a doctor. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), over a quarter of Australians have reported waiting longer than they felt acceptable for a GP appointment with more than one in five patients having delayed seeing a GP due to difficulties accessing services. With an increased need for health services, nurse-led clinics will help fill the gaps in workforce shortages and deliver better health outcomes, by prioritising patient-focused care in the community.”


In Queensland, the Miles Government has announced four new nurse-led clinics, the first set to open in Brisbane City in September. Highly-trained Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and nurses will be on-duty to provide x-rays, prescribe medication, refer patients and provide Medicare rebates, reducing waiting times in EDs for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries,” Ms Beaman said.


“In the ACT and in Tasmania, NPs have proven to be an invaluable resource to local primary healthcare systems and here in Queensland, they’ll be there to help people who are having trouble accessing a GP or are being forced to pay ever-increasing out-of-pocket costs. No one should stand in the way of initiatives that improve health outcomes for Queenslanders,” Ms Beaman explained.


“We commend this investment in sustainable, primary healthcare and the QNMU will continue to work with the Miles Government and our other key stakeholders in progressing the State’s Health Workforce Strategy for Queensland to 2032.”


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