As part of a collaborative response to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, a new respiratory clinic opened in Cobar this week further strengthening our preparedness to fight the virus.
Under the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Commonwealth Government is supporting dedicated general practice respiratory clinics for patients with mild-to-moderate fever and respiratory symptoms.
The clinics are staffed by local GPs who will assess, test and diagnose referred respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, within strict criteria to safely manage infection control, as part of a free service to patients.
Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton said the opening of the Cobar clinic this week was exciting news.
“The Federal Government has committed to establishing up to 100 GP-led respiratory clinics across Australia to assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms,” Mr Coulton said.
“These respiratory clinics are best placed to support people with a fever, cough, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms and will help to avoid the risk of infection in our local communities.
“The Federal Government has been working with local GPs and Aspen Medical – which has significant health emergency management experience in Australia and overseas – to roll out the Cobar clinic.”
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) CEO Andrew Harvey said the Cobar clinic complements an enormous amount of work already undertaken by GPs and clinicians across hospital and primary health care networks, further strengthening the preparedness for COVID-19.
“This respiratory clinic provides additional capacity in Cobar to support early detection and reinforce services, and I’m very grateful for the support of the NSW Outback Division of General Practice in helping to set up this important addition to our COVID-19 infrastructure,” Mr Harvey said.
Mr Coulton said while performing vitally important work in its own right, the respiratory clinic also provides added comfort for people without respiratory complaints to continue to visit their GP and other health professionals for regular check-ups and other issues.
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.