New GP-led respiratory clinic opens in Warrnambool

Media Release

The Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) is pleased to support the opening of a GP-led respiratory clinic in Warrnambool on Wednesday, 1 July 2020 as part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The new GP-led Great South Coast Respiratory Clinic has been set up in 2/120 Lava Street, Warrnambool to test suspected COVID-19 cases in the Great South Coast region.

Great South Coast Respiratory Clinic Manager Delna Plathottam said: “We saw this as a great opportunity to play an important role to ensure the safety of our community and support our primary care colleagues. By offering a community-based COVID-19 screening alternative, we are reducing the risk of symptomatic patients presenting at a general practice.”

The purpose of the clinic is to assess, test and diagnose mild-to-moderate respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia. The clinic will be open from Monday to Friday 3pm to 7pm, with the potential to increase with demand, and is accessible by appointment only but there is no charge to eligible clients. Staff training was provided by Aspen Medical Consulting as appointed by the Commonwealth as the Infection Control Assurance and Training Provider.

Western Victoria PHN CEO Rowena Clift said: “We are very pleased that Great South Coast Respiratory Clinic in Warrnambool has been set up and commenced operations. The acute hospitals have a role in managing very unwell patients, but the primary care sector can take the lead in testing and monitoring mild-to-moderate cases that do not require inpatient care.”

These GP-led respiratory clinics are part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion National Health Plan and are a crucial part of the mix of health care services used to respond to COVID-19.

Ms Plathottam said: “Patients can self-refer by contacting our designated Great South Coast Respiratory Clinic mobile contact number (0428 606 397) or via the HotDoc online appointment app. GPs can also refer to the service.”

This new clinic is independent of the already established South West Healthcare Respiratory Assessment Clinic at 321 Timor St, Warrnambool which does not require a GP to operate and has been operational for several weeks.

Patients can phone South West Healthcare Respiratory Assessment Clinic via the hospital’s main number (03 5563 1666) and select option ‘5’ to undertake a phone screening and then be allocated an appointment if required for a COVID-19 test if displaying even the mildest cold and flu-like symptoms. The clinic is open from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4pm.

Ms Plathottam has a simple message for the community: “Be Smart. Stay Safe. Get Tested. Even if you have the mildest symptoms, it is important to get tested for COVID-19.”