Calare communities are having their COVID-19 defences bolstered through the establishment of specialised clinics to diagnose patients for coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses.
The COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic approved by the Australian Government for Bathurst commenced operation last week by Ochre Health under strict infection control guidelines for patients with mild-to-moderate fever and respiratory symptoms.
“I encourage anyone in the local community experiencing flu-like symptoms to call the clinic or go online to book an appointment,” Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said.
“The Bathurst community has done a great job in keeping local cases low throughout this pandemic, and we want to keep it that way. Measures like this will help to identify any future cases safely and efficiently,” Mr Gee said.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) CEO Andrew Harvey says the development of Respiratory Clinics is complementing an enormous amount of work already undertaken by GPs and clinicians across hospital and primary health care, further strengthening the preparedness for COVID-19, and importantly also ensuring the vital business of regular primary care continues unhindered.
“This respiratory clinic provides additional capacity in Bathurst to support early detection and reinforce services, and I’m very grateful for the support of Ochre Health in helping to set up this important addition to our COVID-19 infrastructure,” Mr Harvey said.
Mr Harvey added that “While performing vitally important work in its own right, the Bathurst 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, to ensure that small complaints now do not become major health concerns later.”
“Residents should not be concerned any risk is posed by visiting their regular GP, Pharmacy, Health Professional or local Hospital, or that these services do not have the capacity to operate as normal, because they certainly do,” said Mr Harvey.
Under the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Commonwealth is supporting dedicated private practice respiratory clinics for patients with mild-to-moderate fever and respiratory symptoms.
The clinics will be staffed by local GPs who will assess, test and diagnose referred respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, in a dedicated part of their premises, within strict criteria to safely manage infection control, as part of a FREE service to patients.
Working closely with the Department of Health and Aspen Medical, the WNSWPHN has collaborated with the Western and Far Western Local Health Districts to ensure a collaborative response to COVID-19 across the region, while also assisting General Practices and Aboriginal Medical Services to meet the strict COVID-19 guidelines, navigate the contract management process and audit Practices as part of the selection process.
Patient consultations are by appointment only and can be made by phoning Ochre Health on 02 4702 3682 or online at ochrehealth.com.au/bathurst and selecting “Respiratory Clinic appointments”.
People with severe flu symptoms should call 000 immediately.