The final two new respiratory assessment clinics will open in Bairnsdale and the Latrobe Valley TODAY, Monday, 18 May.
They bring the total to six federally funded respiratory clinics across Gippsland which will operate for a minimum of three months.
Bairnsdale Medical Group will operate the clinic at the purpose-built facility located at 20 Forge Creek Road Bairnsdale. Entry to the new clinic will be from the corner of Forge Creek Road and Payne Street. It will be open Monday to Friday, initially from 10 am to 4pm, with scope for increased hours as determined by demand.
The Latrobe Respiratory Clinic will be operated by the Health Care Centre Morwell at 187-189 Princes Drive, Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-noon.
Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) has been working closely with general practices across the region to establish the clinics at the six sites, with Warragul opening on 27 April, the clinics at Sale, Wonthaggi and Foster on 4 May.
The Australian Department of Health (DoH) has funded 100 private practice respiratory clinics across Australia to provide dedicated services to people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, in addition to services available within public hospitals and general practices.
Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said the intent of the assessment clinics was to provide assessment and care of patients presenting with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms with referral to another health facility or home isolation if required.
She said the clinics would reduce pressure on public hospitals and primary health providers, while also reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 across the whole community.
“Respiratory clinics will reduce the risk of further transmission of COVID-19, help to optimise the use of available stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and help reduce the pressure on hospital emergency departments,” Ms Proposch said.
“The clinics will be established in dedicated premises which meet clear criteria, with arrangements to safely manage infection control. They will complement efforts of state and territory clinics at public hospitals.
“They will be staffed by existing general practice doctors and nurses and will be funded to assess, test and diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia.”
See the media releases below