Media event date: 
17 April 2020
Date published: 
20 April 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The first GP-led respiratory clinic in the Northern Territory established as part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion health package to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak has opened in Palmerston.

The Federal Government is establishing up to 100 GP-led respiratory clinics around the country to assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19-like symptoms. The clinics will reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and other local general practices.

Federal Regional Health Minister, Mark Coulton said the Palmerston clinic, which opened late yesterday, was one of up to 100 dedicated respiratory clinics to be set up across Australia as part of the Australian Government’s response to the outbreak.

“We are putting in place a range of measures including additional practice incentives and the expansion of telehealth to enable the rural medical workforce to continue to care for rural people,” Minister Coulton said.

Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon said the local clinic is best placed to support people with fever, cough, sore throat, and other respiratory symptoms while avoiding the risk of infection in other members of the community.

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

“The Federal Government has been working with local GPs and Aspen Medical — which has significant health emergency management experience in Australia and overseas — to rollout the Palmerston clinic.”

More than 260 fever clinics, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments, are also in operation across Australia.

To access a clinic, people can visit the Health website's GP respiratory clinics page and use the online booking system.