First Qld respiratory clinic opens for coronavirus testing
QUEENSLAND'S first government-funded respiratory centre for coronavirus testing is up and running and has seen hundreds through its doors.
The clinic, one of 100 to be constructed by the Federal Government, opened at Health Hub Doctors Morayfield (HHDM) on Saturday to rave reviews.
The centre allows for completely separate testing of mild to moderate respiratory illnesses to alleviate public hospitals under significant pressure during the COVID-19 outbreak.
HHDM director Dr Evan Jones said the clinic had already made an impact.
"We have received reports from Caboolture Hospital that it is lowering their demand and allowing them to be getting on with the other work that they need to be doing," Dr Jones said.
"We have excluded any respiratory work from our main clinic so people can quite comfortably come for their normal medical services.
"Patients are met by a security guard and a nurse at the door.
"For those with respiratory illness they can go the dedicated clinic with separate airconditioning and a separate entrance.
"We had an independent group come in paid for by the Commonwealth for an assessment which we passed with flying colours.
"We were told we were the gold standard in terms of infection control and management within a community-based respiratory clinic."
The doctor said pressure on health clinics has been enormous.
HHDM hired 18 additional health practitioners over the past week-and-a-half bringing its staff up to 130, with five doctors working exclusively on respiratory illnesses.
The doctor was effusive in his praise for the respiratory clinic's rollout.
"They have worked extraordinary hours and have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure these clinics happened as soon as possible because we absolutely have to work together as a community to take the pressure off our public hospitals," Dr Jones said.
Residents wanting to get tested were encouraged to book online to ensure they spend as little time as possible at the centre, which can accommodate between 350-400 tests a day.
"Be aware that staff will be in full protective gear and patients shouldn't be alarmed by that," Dr Jones said.
"It is designed to keep the staff and public safe."
The doctor said after hundreds of tests they have not seen evidence of community spread.
Despite its recent influx of additional staff HHDM was still in need of more doctors and nurses.
To book a test visit www.healthhubdoctorsmorayfield.com.au or call 5322 4901.