A new GP-led COVID-19 respiratory clinic has opened at Windsor, and Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, says it will make it easier to be assessed and tested for coronavirus.
The clinic is a Federal Government initiative and opened at 6 Kable Street on June 24.
It operates Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5.30pm for people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, cough or shortness of breath, and offers testing for COVID-19.
Lizz Reay, CEO of Wentworth Healthcare said, "The GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic will be helpful to both patients and general practices in the area by redirecting people with respiratory symptoms, therefore allowing other patients to safely attend their own general practice".
"This new Clinic will also help reduce pressure on hospital testing services and emergency departments, which are seeing an increase in other respiratory illnesses with the onset of winter.
"It is vital that anyone in the Hawkesbury area experiencing respiratory symptoms is assessed and tested. Only through widespread testing can we detect new cases of community transmission and prevent a possible second wave of the disease."
Appointments at all GP-led clinics are essential, and patients should not turn up without one.
"It's terrific to see a GP-led respiratory clinic operating in the Hawkesbury in addition to the drive-through testing centre at Clarendon," Ms Templeman said.
"Rather than going to their regular GP, those suffering respiratory symptoms can make an appointment to attend this clinic where all preparations and safety measures have been put in place in case of a positive COVID-19 test.
"This is also about protecting our local GPs, their staff and other patients.
"We know some people have been avoiding going to their GP for their regular health checks because they were worried about risk.
"This should give people even more confidence that they can go and have their regular check-up. People shouldn't put their health on hold during COVID."
Senator for Western Sydney, Marise Payne, said the establishment of the clinic was a key part of the Federal Government's response to COVID-19.
"The expert medical advice has stressed the importance of having a robust testing regime, so I strongly encourage anyone in our community to contact the Clinic if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms," Senator Payne said.
Senator Payne said another key part of the government's testing regime was the COVIDSafe app.
"To help support our local GPs and healthcare personnel who are on the frontline ... residents should download the COVIDSafe app," Senator Payne said.
"It's an invaluable tool for health officials in finding and containing local outbreaks. It will help save lives."
The Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network's website says, "These Clinics are particularly helpful for patients with a respiratory illness that cannot be safely managed by telehealth alone and require a face-to-face consultation, when their symptoms are not severe enough to attend a hospital emergency department. All staff working at the clinic will be in full PPE and where possible, will use a "non-touch" method of clinical assessment. The Clinic will assess people for COVID-19 and when needed, undertake testing ...Patients who attend this service will receive clinical advice on how to best manage their respiratory symptoms and be referred back to their usual GP for ongoing treatment".
For more information, visit the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network's website at www.nbmphn.com.au/GPCOVIDClinics.