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GP-led respiratory clinic now open

PRIMARY Health Tasmania (Tasmania PHN) has opened a GP-led respiratory clinic in Hobart as part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The clinic is the fourth of its kind open in Tasmania.

Primary Health Tasmania chief executive officer Phil Edmondson said the Hobart Respiratory Clinic would play a vital role in supporting patients in southern Tasmania during the pandemic.

“These clinics complement the existing Tasmanian Health Service clinics, but are different in that no referral is needed and they offer assessment, testing and initial treatment – not just testing,” he said.

“People with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath can make an appointment themselves.

“There is no charge for people with these symptoms.”

Tasmanian Senator Jonno Duniam said the clinic would significantly boost the safety of Tasmanians.

“This clinic will provide a one-stop-shop for Tasmanians to be tested and treated, and will take the pressure off general practitioners and our hospital emergency departments,” he said.

“When the Hobart Respiratory Clinic is operating at full capacity, the doctors and nurses will be able to see around 60 Tasmanians per day.

“The Hobart Clinic is the fourth and final Tasmanian respiratory clinic funded wholly by the Morrison Government with our $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The Hobart Respiratory Clinic is operated by Better Medical, which is partnered with the Australian Government and Primary Health Tasmania to help ensure access to COVID-19 testing services and assessment.

“It provides our doctors and staff with an opportunity to be directly involved in this important public health service and will help to ensure hospitals see people with severe conditions, and GPs can continue to treat their usual patients,” Better Medical chief executive office Jeremy Stones said.

Better Medical Clinical Advisory Board chair Doctor Colin Goodson said the Hobart Respiratory Clinic was safe to attend for patients showing possible symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza-like illness.

“Our doctors and staff are well-equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment and have undertaken COVID-19 infection control training to ensure the protection of themselves and patients,” he said.

“Our rooms are also thoroughly cleaned between patients, and we have strict processes in place to prevent or limit patients interacting with other patients.

“It’s important to be aware this is not a walk-in service, and appointments can be made online or via telephone.”

Any Tasmanians with cold or flu-like symptoms are encouraged to call their usual GP to discuss their options, or can book an appointment online at www.hobartrespiratoryclinic.com.au, or by phoning 6165 2367.

Caption: Senator Jonno Duniam having his temperature tested at the new respiratory clinic.