Australia’s first indigenous only fever clinic is now open – three more are due to open this month
- Fri 17 Apr 2020
Erin Smith, Redcliffe & Bayside Herald
April 16, 2020 3:55pm
A first-of-its-kind indigenous and Torres Strait Islander only COVID-19 fever clinic at Caboolture will soon be able to provide results in as little as 45 minutes.
Australia’s first COVID-19 fever clinic for indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders opened at Caboolture this week – three more are due to open in southeast Queensland by the end of the month.
The clinic is equipped to see up to 100 patients a day and once the rapid COVID-19 testing machine arrives next week, clinicians will be able to provide results in 45 minutes – much faster than the 24-48 hours it currently takes.
The respiratory clinic, which is funded through the Federal Government’s $2.4 billion health package, is operated by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, next to the existing Aboriginal community Controlled Health Service in James St, Caboolture.
It is not the only fever clinic in the region with Health Hub Doctors Morayfield also operating a fever clinic, with the capacity to test up to 400 people a day.
A spokeswoman for IUIH said there was a large proportion of indigenous people in the high risk category for COVID-19.
[image in attachment] Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO Adrian Carson, Federal Member for Longman Terry Young MP Deadly Choices Ambassador Steve Renouf and Brisbane North PHN Deputy CEO Libby Dunstan. at the new indigenous only COVID-19 fever clinic at Caboolture
“It is critical that services such as this respiratory clinic are easily accessible to ensure safe and culturally supportive screening and holistic wraparound support and follow-up care management,” she said.
“This is particularly important as many indigenous people are also at elevated risk of social isolation and basic supports at this time, including if requiring quarantine measures.”
Federal Minister Health, Greg Hunt said the clinic, and the three others planned for southeast Queensland would help reduce the pressure on hospital emergency departments.
“This respiratory clinic and many more like it will provide a comprehensive level of care responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and will reduce the risk of further infection,” Mr Hunt said.
“The Australian Government has committed to establishing up to 100 GP-led respiratory clinics around the country to assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19-like symptoms.”
Federal LNP MP for Longman Terry Young said there were 24,000 indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders living in the Moreton Bay region.
“We cannot let our efforts be in vain and we cannot gamble with the lives and livelihoods of millions of Australians,” Mr Young said.
“Let’s work together, act on the advice of health professionals, adhere to the protocols and continue to flatten the curve.”
Three other indigenous only fever clinics are expected to be open.
The one at Woodridge will open later this week. Followed by clinics at Booval and Nerang.
To access a clinic, people can visit http://www.health.gov.au for further information.