Media Release: COVID-19 respiratory clinic opens in Thomastown

Media Release: COVID-19 respiratory clinic opens in Thomastown

15 June, 2020

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) is pleased to support the opening of a GP-led Respiratory Clinic at First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing, in the northern suburbs and surrounding areas of Melbourne as part of the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  

The PHN’s CEO, Janine Wilson, said the clinic, one of more than 100 the Australian Government is setting up across Australia, would play a vital role in supporting patients in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne and surrounding areas throughout the pandemic. 

“Importantly, this respiratory clinic will help the local health care services – taking the pressure off hospitals and general practices by providing dedicated treatment to people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of fever or sore throat, cough, fatigue or shortness of breath,” Janine Wilson said. 

These clinics have been established to assess people with respiratory symptoms and, where appropriate, undertake testing to diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia. 

“I encourage anyone in our community experiencing these symptoms to call the clinic or go online to book an appointment. 

“This clinic will help to reduce pressure on Northern Health hospital’s emergency department and allow other local medical practices to treat people who aren’t showing signs of suffering from the coronavirus. It is important to remind people that good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, maintaining social distancing and staying at home remain the best defense against COVID-19.” 

“This clinic is part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion National Health Plan and a crucial part of the mix of health care services being used to respond to COVID-19. I am pleased to see access to these services improved in Victoria,” the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said.  

As part of their commitment to provide the best possible primary care to Aboriginal people, First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing developed a COVID-19 pandemic plan in early February to prepare for the anticipated impact on the Aboriginal community in Melbourne, where they run two clinics.   

First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing CEO Karinda Taylor said the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.  

“As one of the Aboriginal health services in Melbourne conducting COVID-19 testing, we have had a big influx of new patients for virus testing,” Karinda said.  

The respiratory clinic is welcoming anyone in the northern eastern suburbs and surrounding areas to contact them if they have mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

EMPHN is one of 31 PHNs located throughout Australia that are working with local hospital districts to advise the Commonwealth Department of Health on the best locations for the clinics right across the country.  

“I am very pleased and proud of the fact EMPHN and local health practitioners have worked collaboratively with the Federal Government to deliver this essential service,” Janine said. 

First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing GP-led Respiratory Clinic 
Call 03 9070 8181 to make an appointment
Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm and Friday, 9am-1pm (Clinic opens 10 June) 

Media enquiries:   Claire James   0425 887 397

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network is primarily funded by the Australian Government to improve the care and support people receive from health services. We aim to improve the health of our community by ensuring people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.