Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton has announced a new mobile respiratory clinic is now operational in the North West.
Mr Coulton said the mobile clinic is being run by Ochre Health and will travel between Gunnedah, Narrabri and Boggabri to assess patients who have mild to moderate cold or flu symptoms and test them for COVID-19.
“This is exciting news for the North West as we continue to strengthen our local capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Federal Government has committed to establishing up to 100 GP-led respiratory clinics across Australia to assess patients with mild to moderate flu-like symptoms.
“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 mobile clinic.”
Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (PHN) CEO Richard Nankervis said improving access to health services in rural communities was always a priority for the PHN.
“I would like to thank Ochre Health for their efforts to get a mobile clinic operating in our region as it provides access to COVID-19 testing in communities where it is not feasible to set up a permanent testing facility,” Mr Nankervis said.
“We’d also like to remind the community that while COVID-19 remains a major focus for health services, people with ongoing chronic health conditions should be continuing to maintain contact with their own GP to ensure their health is well-monitored.”
Dr John Hall, Ochre Health Director of Medical Services and President of the Rural Doctors Association, said the new mobile clinic has strict infection controls and safety measures in place to protect staff and patients. He said part of this is a ‘no walk-ins’ policy.
“It’s really important that people make an appointment and follow our team’s instructions when they arrive,” Dr Hall said.
“The new clinic has been established to support people suffering from any mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, keeping them separate from other patients at GP practices and health facilities, thereby protecting both staff and patients.
“I encourage anyone in the local community experiencing mild to moderate cold or flu symptoms to book an appointment. Anybody with severe symptoms should call 000 immediately instead.”
Locations and opening hours are as follows.
|Boggabri Golf Club
|Open Mondays||Open Wednesdays||Open Fridays|
- The Federal Government is investing $206.7 million to establish up to 100 respiratory clinics across Australia, including in rural and regional areas. Additionally, more than 160 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 emergency department.
- 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.