The Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care
General information for secondary schools
Urgent care clinics are in many major towns and cities, and provide non-appointment care, which means patients can walk-in, wait, and receive treatment. Patients with more serious injuries or illnesses are prioritised on arrival. Clinics are typically open seven days, from 8am until at least 8pm. They are equipped and staffed to manage urgent medical problems and accidents, and offer x-ray, fracture clinics, a slit lamp for eye conditions, and complex wound management facilities.
Many people use urgent care clinics when they can’t get into see their GP (for example, outside normal working hours), or when they’ve had an accident and don’t want to attend the emergency department (when the injury isn’t immediately life-threatening). Statistics indicate that cities with urgent care clinics have significantly lower emergency department attendance.
The Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care is responsible for training doctors and maintaining professional standards in urgent care.
Information for medical students, trainees and Fellows
Urgent care is the branch of medicine that covers the treatment of accidents and urgent medical problems in the community. Of the 36 branches of medicine recognised by the Medical Council of New Zealand, urgent care is the 12th largest by Fellow numbers (similar in size to ENT, emergency medicine and public health), and the second largest by face-to-face patient consultations. There are around 2.5 million urgent care patient consultations per annum in New Zealand (or around 15% of total primary care doctor presentations), according to RNZCUC and Ministry of Health estimates.
New Zealand is the first country in which urgent care was recognised as a branch, and it has the lowest rate of emergency department attendance per capita in the developed world. In Auckland, where there are more urgent care clinics per capita than elsewhere in New Zealand, emergency department attendance rates are significantly lower than in the rest of the country.
Training for Fellowship of RNZCUC
The training programme leads to a Fellowship of the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care and is typically four years (less for those with prior credits and experience), and our registrars work in urgent care clinics with an employment contract with the clinic itself. Health Workforce New Zealand provides funds to cover the costs of training.
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