Victorians will have greater access to respiratory assessments and Covid-19 testing, with the first of 20 new GP respiratory clinics open in Cranbourne, Officer, Glen Waverley, and Sunshine.
The $23.8 million initiative will see primary care clinics play a greater role in easing the load on hospitals by reducing emergency department presentations and boosting the state’s testing capacity as Omicron cases continue to emerge.
Additional clinics will open across metropolitan Melbourne in the coming weeks, allowing adults and children with mild COVID-19 symptoms to access respiratory care in their community, without needing to go to hospital.
Minster for Health Martin Foley said the clinic will ensure more communities have access to local services in times of need.
“This is a great example of how partnerships between public health services, local GPs and primary health care providers lead to better outcomes for Victorian patients,” Minister Foley said.
GP respiratory clinic services are free to everyone, with or without a Medicare card. They are open after hours and on weekends and will support more than 350 patients of all ages per week.
Cranbourne MP Pauline Richards said that local families will benefit from the new facility.
“Having access to a respiratory clinic in Cranbourne West will make sure our diverse community and local families can get the care they need, closer to home, with or without a Medicare Card,” Ms Richards said.
The clinics will be located in the LGAs of Casey, Greater Dandenong , Cardinia, Kingston and Monash, among others across Melbourne.
Patients attending the new clinics will receive a respiratory assessment and be provided with short term support to manage their condition, before being referred to their usual GP for ongoing care or assisted to find a GP if they don’t have one.
Patients who test positive to COVID-19 will be supported to access the Covid Positive Pathways program.
Before leaving home to get tested people should visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/where-get-tested-covid-19 to find their local site and check the estimated wait time.
Hume, Wyndham, Brimbank, Moreland, Darebin, Moonee Valley, Melbourne, Maribyrnong, Melton, Whittlesea, Banyule and Boroondara are other LGAs where new clinics will be located.
For information about GP respiratory clinic services and locations visit health.vic.gov.au/covid-19/gp-respiratory- clinics-and-hospital-respiratory-clinics-covid-19