Three respiratory clinics have now been opened across the Gold Coast at Upper Coomera, Burleigh Waters and now Hope Island, with an additional clinic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island residents being launched later this week at Nerang.
The Commonwealth Government is establishing these GP led clinics and Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) has been supporting this process locally.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network Board Chair, Dr Roger Halliwell, said the clinics would provide another option for testing on the Gold Coast. Currently residents can be tested at the new respiratory clinics and at fever clinics at Robina and Gold Coast University Hospitals. A small number of GPs can also conduct testing in their practices, but most will refer their patients to pathology laboratories or the fever or respiratory clinics.
“Because we currently have low numbers of the virus being detected across Queensland, testing is even more important to pick up any new cases before they have a chance to spread more widely,” Dr Halliwell said.
“We’re really lucky on the Gold Coast that we have a range of testing options and we urge anyone with even the most minor respiratory symptoms to get tested.” Hope Island Practice Principal, Dr Andrew Weissenberger, said that GP respiratory clinics are a very important part of the federal government’s community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very proud of this new respiratory clinic and our staff who have worked very hard to bring this service to fruition,” Dr Weissenberger said. “We have an excellent team who are playing a vital role in quickly assessing, testing, diagnosing and managing people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection.”
“Another very important aspect of the respiratory clinics is that they take possible COVID-19 patients out of the mainstream healthcare system. This helps reduce the burden on Emergency Departments and other GP clinics while also reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 across the community and particularly the vulnerable,” he said.
Dr Weissenberger said that the respiratory clinics are community based, easily accessible and extremely safe, with stringent infection control guidelines in place.
The new clinic is located at 10 Santa Barbara Road, Hope Island. It’s free, open from 1pm-5pm Monday to Friday and 8am–12 noon on Saturday.
For details on COVID-19 testing facilities on the Gold Coast visit www.gcphn.org.au/community/covid19/covid-19-testing