A new medical service has opened in Maitland this week, with potential to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and treat patients quickly.
Heal Urgent Care is for people who need immediate treatment for a non-life threatening illness or injury, and don't need to be admitted to hospital.
The clinic is walk in only, and treats fractures, sprains, migraines, respiratory illness and COVID-19, bites, burns, vomiting, urinary infections, sexually transmitted infections, fevers, back pain, fever, ear, nose and throat problems, and children and babies.
Being privately owned, the clinic has a cost - $295. This is a flat fee which includes all treatment required during a visit, including a consultation, medical imaging, pathology, splints, slings, plaster and crutches.
Medicare card holders will get a rebate back.
The clinic has been designed to be extremely patient friendly; a concierge will offer snacks and drinks on arrival, plus there are iPads for the kids and a big television in the 'lounge' and family consult room.
It's the second clinic for chief executive officer and medical director Dr Tim Stewart, who has previously worked in the Maitland Hospital Emergency Department for seven years.
His first Heal location is in Newcastle West.
"I understand the problem in the system, and I can see the experience people are having, and it seemed obvious to me there must be a better way of doing it," Dr Stewart said.
"It's filling that gap between general practice and the emergency department, and it's a big gap."
His Newcastle site has been seeing about 25 patients per day, and most are in and out within 60 to 90 minutes.
Currently, the Maitland clinic has one emergency doctor onsite at a time, plus highly skilled nurses and support staff, and this number will grow alongside demand.
Heal is at 30 Metford Road, East Maitland and is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Sunday.
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