About Urgent Care

RNZCUC defines urgent care as episodic, no-appointment-necessary primary care services that are covered by the RNZCUC training programme, and delivered from an RNZCUC-approved urgent care facility.

Out of the 35 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 consultations.

Around 25% of primary care medical presentations in New Zealand are to urgent care facilities. These clinics are typically open seven days, until at least 8pm. They have on-site x-ray and the resources to manage urgent medical problems and accidents.

RNZCUC has around 420 members, comprising approximately 200 Fellows and 220 trainees.


The Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care has these goals:

To develop and advance the delivery of urgent care READ MORE


RNZCUC has developed standards for community-based urgent care clinics in New Zealand. The Urgent Care Standard is an internationally recognised Standard, overseen by JASANZ. The UCS was developed in 2015 and substantially reviewed in 2015. RNZCUC in conjunction with a professional  auditing body jontly audit clinics against the Standard.


Vocational Registration

RNZCUC administers a four-year postgraduate training programme leading to Fellowship in urgent care.


RNZCUC runs the re-certification programme needed for Fellows to maintain vocational registration in urgent care.

To represent its members to statutory bodies, government, the media and others... READ MORE

RNZCUC regularly consults with the Ministry of Health, ACC, District Health Boards and many other government organisations. In common with other Colleges, it has a close relationship with the MCNZ and comments on proposed MCNZ policy changes.

It is a member of the Council of Medical Colleges, and seeks to have strong relationships with other Colleges, in particular its neighbours in general practice, emergency medicine and rural hospital medicine.

To foster research in the areas involved in urgent care READ MORE

RNZCUC actively supports and encourages original research in urgent care.
Trainees must complete a research project, correctly presented and referenced to a high academic standard.
RNZCUC also financially supports research via an annual research grant.

History of Urgent Care in New Zealand

In 1991, a group of doctors working in community clinics and hospital emergency departments recognised the need for specialist training and support for doctors working in the newly-formed urgent care clinics. This group continued to meet and formed an incorporated society in 1995, called the Accident and Medical Practitioners Association (AMPA).

In 2000, the New Zealand Medical Council recognised Accident and Medical Practice as a branch of medicine.  In 2011, the Association changed its name to the College of Urgent Care Physicians Incorporated. The medical branch name was updated to urgent care and the doctor’s designation to urgent care physician.

In 2013 a Royal decree granted the use of the term Royal, and the college changed its name to the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care.

From an initial meeting in 1991 of some 15 doctors, the organisation has grown to over 400 members, with Fellow and trainee numbers at record levels.

As the only training body in urgent care with government recognition, RNZCUC feels a duty to support the growth of urgent care internationally, to make its systems and qualifications available where needed, and to support urgent care physicians overseas to form their own Colleges and achieve national registration body recognition.
Its policies allow doctors from comparable healthcare systems to undertake Fellowship training. The College has members in Australia and Europe, and in 2017 established an Australian faculty. Overseas based trainee and Fellow numbers could dwarf New Zealand membership in time.

Preview of RNZCUC's coat-of-arms, due late 2017