ACT nurse-led walk-in clinic under fire for cost

THE $10 million ACT nurse-led walk-in clinic has again come under fire, with claims the cost of treating patients at the clinic is up to seven times as much as treatment at a GP practice. 

The ACT’s Shadow Health Minister, Jeremy Hanson, last week claimed that – based on the 7700 patients treated at the clinic since it opened in May last year – the clinic was costing taxpayers around $255 per patient, well above the $34.90 MBS rebate for a Level B GP consultation.

Mr Hanson said that attendances at local emergency departments had not fallen with the introduction of the clinic, and beyond those treated at the clinic, a further 3900 patients were referred elsewhere.

ACT Health Minister Katy Gallagher rejected Mr Hanson’s calculations, saying the cost per patient was closer to $120. 

“If you used cost as a measure of value for money, there would be a range of health services not offered due to low