ROYAL NZ COLLEGE OF URGENT CARE
ABOUT THE ROYAL COLLAGE OF URGENT CARE (RNZCUC)
In New Zealand we have a branch of
medicine focused on providing urgent medical care in the community.
It is called urgent care, and the medical college responsible for
the provision of training and ongoing professional standards is the
Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care.
Out of the 36 branches of medicine that the Medical Council of New
Zealand recognises, urgent care is the 13th largest by Fellow
numbers, and the second largest by face-to-face patient
There are a range of approaches to providing care for urgent
• Self-help, including researching information online
• Help from a family member, friend, or first-aider
• Calling healthline or other telephone helplines
• Ambulance services
• GP drop in or after-hours clinics
• Urgent care clinics
Around 25% of primary care medical presentations in New Zealand are
to urgent care clinics. Urgent care clinics are based in the
community, have the resources to manage urgent medical problems and
accidents, are easily accessible by the public, and reduce pressure
on hospital emergency departments. Thus, urgent care medicine
supports the NZ health strategy of “Better, Sooner, More Convenient
Health Care in the Community”.
Clinics are typically open seven days, from 8am until at least 8pm.
They have the resources to manage urgent medical problems and
accidents, including x-ray, fracture clinics, ophthalmology, and
complex wound management facilities. Urgent care clinics treat some
conditions that are also managed in emergency departments, and
statistics indicate they significantly lower emergency department
attendance. New Zealand is the only country in which urgent care is
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.
The Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care (RNZCUC) (www.rnzcuc.org.nz)
runs the urgent care training programme. It has approximately 420
members, 30% hospital based, 70% community based.