GCPHN continues to support primary healthcare in our region to respond to the current COVID-19 health situation by providing services, information, and resources to help practitioners support their patients.
This page contains COVID-19 information for health professionals in the Gold Coast region on the assessment and management of COVID-19, vaccinations, GP respiratory clinics, primary healthcare workforce, and clinical/patient resources.
*Advice subject to change*
Given the current demands on the health system, we have worked with Gold Coast Health to develop local guidelines for patients who are seeking support from their GP because they have tested positive or are sick with COVID-19 like symptoms.
HealthPathways contains the most up to date information on support for COVID-19 patients. Your local COVID-19 Case Management HealthPathway is available for clinicians to provide clinical guidance on the assessment, triage, and management of COVID-19 positive people in the community.
Don’t have a login for HealthPathways? Register here.
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Please discuss any cases of concern with your local Public Health Unit immediately so that appropriate actions and testing can be organised.
GPs are advised to notify the Gold Coast Public Health Units of ‘suspect cases’ of COVID-19.
Gold Coast Public Health Unit
P: 07 5667 3200
For the latest information on COVID-19 testing, visit Queensland Health’s COVID-19 testing requirements webpage.
Most people can manage COVID-19 at home and are advised to utilise the tools and helplines below in the first instance they suspect they have COVID-19.
COVID care self-checker – A clinical self-assessment tool designed to help patients understand what healthcare they may need based on their symptoms and other risk factors.
National Coronavirus Hotline 1800 020 080 - Available 24 hours a day 7 days per week, with an interpreter available (press 8).
PCR tests are no longer required to confirm a positive rapid antigen test (RAT).
PCR tests are available where RATs cannot be accessed.
A positive RAT result must be reported to Queensland Health. RATs can be purchased at pharmacies and retail stores.
Queensland Health have a limited supply at testing sites.
Free COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are available from Gold Coast University Hospital.
Address: 1 Hospital Boulevard, Southport, 4215
Phone: 5687 6326
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 4.00pm, excluding Public Holidays
Notes: Please do not attend the facility. Telephone 5687 6326 or email GCHHSDisaster@health.qld.gov.au with your concession card number, name, address, contact number and any other delivery instructions.
Queensland health have advised that the following groups can access free RAT kits via the Queensland Health distribution centres without a concession card:
Free Medicare-funded PCR testing are available at private pathology-operated clinics for anyone with a Medicare card and a GP referral.
If a patient does not have a Medicare card and a GP referral, they may be charged for the test by the private pathology-operated clinic.
Some PCR testing at private laboratories interstate may have a cost.
Specimen collection can be done through:
General practices are being asked to focus on care for people with moderate risk. People triaged as moderate risk through the National Coronavirus Helpline and COVID-19 symptom checker are advised to seek care from their GP. The vast majority of care will be delivered by telehealth.
GPs should refer to their local HealthPathways for up-to-date information on the clinical management of these patients, including escalation pathways if people deteriorate and referral to disease modifying treatments such as monoclonal antibodies.
Don’t have a login for HealthPathways? Register here.
From 1 January 2022, patient access to telehealth services will be supported by ongoing Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) arrangements.
The ongoing arrangements build on the temporary telehealth and will continue to enable all Medicare eligible Australians to access telehealth (video and phone) services for a range of (out of hospital) consultations that can also be provided in person.
MBS telehealth items will continue to be available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
The Taskforce works to provide the best COVID-19 evidence that supports clinicians to provide the best possible care for Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce undertakes continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19.
Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) has commissioned some services to assist vulnerable patients who require particular support while they are in quarantine or isolation. Please note all these services are subject to change depending on demand.
The COVID-19 vaccination program is well underway in the Gold Coast region. Appointments for a COVID-19 vaccination are now available for everyone 5 years and over. To learn more about the vaccine rollout, COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated visit the Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine website.
To view all Gold Coast Covid-19 vaccination options please see our ‘Getting the Covid-19 vaccination’ webpage.
Your local HealthPathways portal provides the latest information about the clinical aspects of COVID-19 vaccination, including advice, delivery, and followup. GPs are encouraged to check they have access to HealthPathways.
Don’t have a login for HealthPathways? Register here.
Community pharmacies are also participating in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the concessional RAT program.
Many vulnerable people may be house bound or have other obstacles or health conditions that prevent them from attending a vaccination hub, clinic or pharmacy.
GCPHN are partnering with vaccination service providers to coordinate referrals to receive a COVID-19 vaccination home visit for these vulnerable people in our community.
Complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Inreach Referral form to create a referral for yourself or someone else and a vaccination service provider will contact you to discuss a home visit.
Please note in-home vaccination wait times can be up to 4 weeks from initial referral.
Local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) are available to provide culturally appropriate COVID-19 vaccinations.
To improve access and uptake of vaccinations, general practices are also encouraged to provide a culturally safe environment when providing the vaccine.
Mob Link is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in SEQ by linking them with health and social services.
By calling 1800 254 354 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across South East Queensland can access a variety of COVID related services and support plus a wide range of other health and social services.
MobLink Website also has a number of localised resources on COVID 19 to support Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Australian Department of Health has a dedicated web page that provide further information and resources to better inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Your local HealthPathways portal provides the latest information about COVID-19 workforce management and are regularly updated. Practice managers and GPs are encouraged to check they have access to HealthPathways.
Please click “Register now” on the Welcome Page to request your Health Professional access.
Staffed by senior GPs and experienced counsellors trained in doctors’ health, Drs4Drs is a free medical service for GPs seeking support. An initiative from the Department of Health and Medical Board of Australia to ensure GPs have access to care and support when they need it. This is a 24/7, free and confidential service you can access by calling 1300 Dr4Drs (1300 374 377).
Gold Coast Public Health Unit is working alongside residential aged care homes to manage and reduce infection rates in facilities.
All RACHs in the Gold Coast region are continuing to be supported by GCPHN to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible residents and staff.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of assistance.
COVID-19 information and resources Rapid response flowchart
The COVID-19 in a RACH: Overview and flowchart was jointly developed by a State and Commonwealth working group to help ensure Queensland can mobilise quickly and effectively in response to a COVID-19 case in an aged care facility. Personal protective equipment (PPE) PPE for coronavirus (COVID-19) includes surgical masks, particulate filter respirators (such as P2 or N95), gloves, goggles, glasses, face shields, gowns and aprons.Guidelines on the use of PPE when caring for patients in the non-inpatient settings are available on the Department’s website. If you have any questions about the use of PPE or if you require PPE, email email@example.com.
Public health guidelines
The Communicable Diseases Network Australia has developed these comprehensive national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia that cover:
A Gold Coast in-home visiting service to support vulnerable people, including residential aged care home (RACH) residents, is now taking referrals from GPs.
This service, funded by Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN), is for a person or resident who is, or has been, COVID-19 positive within the past 30 days.
Please note this is a limited service with a response expected within 48 hours. Services may cover health issues that are not specifically related to COVID-19, for example patients in palliative care, patients with caring responsibilities, antenatal care, wound care, and in-reach to RACHs.
This service includes visits to RACHs where the usual GP is unable to accommodate a face-to-face visit and telehealth care is not a suitable option.
Home visits or RACH in-reach are not limited to a COVID-positive resident or patient, however the patient and their residence or facility must be affected by COVID.
For example, the home or in-reach visit can be to provide clinical care to:
If the usual visiting GP is unable to accommodate a face to face visit and telehealth care is not a suitable option, referrals can be made by calling on 07 5631 6690 and advising you wish to access the Gold Coast COVID-19 Isolation Support Home Visit service.
GCPHN has also provided this advice directly to local RACHs.
Clinical practice resources: