Tamworth's GP-led respiratory clinic yet to open
The Tamworth GP-led respiratory clinic to help shore the city up against the spread of COVID-19 is yet to open. Member for New England Barnaby Joyce told local media on April 2 that to his knowledge the testing clinic would be open within the week. However, the Department of Health confirmed that they were still working on setting it up.
But, Tamworth GP clinic has signed a contract to host the site. "The Department of Health is working with Aspen Medical, who have significant health emergency management experience in Australia and overseas, to mobilise the clinic as urgently as possible," a spokesperson said. The respiratory clinics are a part of the mix of health care services being used to respond to COVID-19. They are designed to test and treat the 80 per cent of COVID-19 patients who will experience only mild to moderate fevers and respiratory conditions. "The centres play a valuable role as a triage facility to help ensure hospitals are preserved for people with severe conditions, and GPs can continue to treat their usual patients," the Department of Health spokesperson said. "In most cases, the clinics are being located as part of an established general practice dedicated to supporting their communities. "These are GP led clinics are being established with the highest standards of infection prevention and control, and being quality assured by experts in the field." On 11 March, the Australian Government announced $206.7 million to support the establishment of up to 100 GP-led Respiratory Clinics across Australia as part of the $2.4 billion National Health Plan. The 31 Primary Health Networks were tasked with working with local hospital networks and general practices to identify the most appropriate location. "As at noon on 16 April, 25 GP led Respiratory Clinics are currently operating," the Department of Health spokesperson said. "A further 24 contracts have been executed with clinics, including one with a practice in Tamworth NSW. "The 100 GP-led Respiratory Clinics are expected to be operational within four to si