A new respiratory clinic has opened in Taree to assess residents who have mild to moderate cold or flu symptoms and test them for COVID-19.
The clinic, which will be managed by Dr Simon Holliday, opened in Butterworth Lane on Monday June 29.
"Respiratory clinics are best placed to support people with a fever, cough, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms and will help to avoid the risk of infection in our local communities," Dr Holliday said.
The stand-alone clinic has strict infection controls and safety measures are in place to protect staff and patients. A major part of operations is a 'no walk-ins' policy.
"It's really important that people make an appointment and follow our team's instructions when they arrive," Dr Holliday said.
"The new clinic has been established to support people suffering from any mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, keeping them separate from other patients at health facilities, including our own, thereby protecting both staff and patients.
"I encourage anyone in the local community experiencing mild to moderate cold or flu symptoms to book an appointment. Anybody with severe symptoms should call triple zero (000) immediately instead."
Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the clinic will strengthen the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Manning-Great Lakes region.
"The federal government has already established over 100 GP-led respiratory clinics across Australia to assess patients with mild to moderate flu-like symptoms," Dr Gillespie said.
Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network chief executive Richard Nankervis thanked Dr Holliday for his effort in setting up the clinic.
"We'd also like to remind the community that while COVID-19 remains a major focus for health services, people with ongoing chronic health conditions should be continuing to maintain contact with their own GP to ensure their health is well-monitored," Mr Nankervis added.
Patients can book online at www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres (select Taree Respiratory Clinic) or call 6516 2043.
They are required to arrive just prior to appointments and park in Pulteney Street or Butterworth car park.
Staff will phone patients before they can exit their cars and enter the clinic.
The clinic will be open Monday to Friday between 9am and 1pm.