New COVID-19 testing clinic for Clarence
PEOPLE living in and around Yamba will be able to be tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory conditions at a local free clinic.
The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) CEO Julie Sturgess said she was pleased to support the opening of the GP-led Yamba Respiratory Clinic as part of the Australian Government's $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The clinic will assess people with respiratory symptoms and, where appropriate, undertake testing to diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia. Results should be available 24 to 48 hours after tests.
"The clinic will provide the opportunity for people to undergo assessment and testing in a safe environment, close to home and will protect our most vulnerable community members," Ms Sturgess said.
"Importantly, it will support local health care services - taking the pressure off hospitals and general practices by providing dedicated treatment to people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of fever or sore throat, cough, fatigue or shortness of breath.
"I encourage anyone in our community experiencing these symptoms to book an appointment."
Clarence Medical Centre is running the Yamba Respiratory Clinic. Located at 12 Clarence St, co-owner and practice manager Angela Bliss said that doctors and practice staff are pleased to support the area's health in such a vital manner during these uncertain times.
"Maclean Hospital and all the GP clinics in our area can focus on other patients while we manage any respiratory conditions in our controlled environment," Ms Bliss said. "Being able to assess, swab and provide necessary treatment in one location will certainly help contain the spread of COVID-19.
"The patients can book an appointment online, be assessed by our clinical team, swabbed as required, given advice and treatment then go back home without heading out into the community.
"Notes and a copy of the pathology is forwarded then to the patients' usual GP for continued treatment. We all are hoping COVID-19 numbers stay low through the winter months."
The Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, welcomed the establishment of the clinic at Yamba.
"The Federal Government is establishing these clinics around the country to assess patients with COVID-19-like symptoms," Mr Hogan said
"These clinics will reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and other local general practices."
People should visit health.gov.au and use the online booking system to make an appointment or telephone (02) 5629 7517. Yamba Respiratory Clinic is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
"NCPHN is one of 31 PHNs located throughout Australia that are working with local health districts to advise the Commonwealth Department of Health on the best locations for the clinics right across the country," Ms Sturgess said.
"I am very pleased and proud of the fact that NCPHN and local health practitioners have worked collaboratively with the Australian Government to deliver this essential service."
The Australian Government is establishing respiratory clinics at key North Coast locations. The majority of clinics will operate out of existing medical practices. They will complement NSW Health's existing COVID-19 / fever clinics at Tweed Heads, Byron Bay, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey and Port Macquarie.