A GP-led respiratory clinic, established as part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion
health package to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, has opened at Katungul Aboriginal
Corporation Regional Health and Community Services in Bega.
The Federal Government is establishing up to 100 GP-led respiratory clinics around the
country to assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19-like symptoms in an effort to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and other local general practices.
Federal Regional Health Minister, Mark Coulton, said the Bega clinic is one of up to 100
dedicated respiratory clinics being set up across Australia as part of the Australian
Government’s response to the outbreak.
“We are putting in place a range of measures including additional practice incentives and the expansion of telehealth to enable the rural medical workforce to continue to care for
regional Australians through this crisis.” Minister Coulton said.
More than 260 fever clinics, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State and Territory
governments, are also in operation across Australia.
People with severe symptoms should call 000 and/or attend the nearest hospital
People with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms will need to make an
appointment either online via booking links available at health.gov.au or over the
phone if the clinic has made a local phone booking arrangement available.
It is important that people attend the clinic only at the time of their booking so that
social distancing can be maintained, and they may be asked to wait in their car until
the clinic is ready to receive them.
People will be assessed by a GP or a nurse under the supervision of a GP and have a
specimen taken for pathology testing if that is indicated.
Regardless of whether a test is undertaken, the person will receive clinical advice on
how to manage their symptoms and an initial follow-up phone call or text message
with test results and to check on how they are going.
After people have visited the clinic, they will remain eligible to continue to consult
their regular GP using the MBS telehealth items.