First Aboriginal COVID-19 GP respiratory clinic opens in Queensland

The first Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) GP-led respiratory clinic established as part of the Australian Government’s $2.4 billion health package to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak has opened in Caboolture, Queensland.

Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said, “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.”

“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,” Minister Hunt said.

“These clinics will help to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and other general practices.” Queensland Minister for Health, Steven Miles said, “The dedicated Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service is the first of its kind in the State and the Country.”

“This clinic based next to the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health centre in Caboolture will ensure access to appropriate respiratory assessment services related to COVID-19 for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community.”

“It is important we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 here in Queensland, and ensure we continue to reduce the risk of further infection,” Minister Miles said. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those with a pre-existing medical condition, are at a higher risk of serious infection from COVID-19 than other Australians.

The Australian Government is working with local GPs and Aspen Medical, which has significant health emergency management experience in Australia and overseas, to roll out the clinics.

Minister Hunt said, “Our Government is investing $206.7 million to establish up to 100 respiratory clinics across Australia, including in rural and regional areas in each state and territory.”

“This is complemented by a further $6.9 million provided to support culturally safe access to COVID-19 care for ACCHS around the country, managed in partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).”

More than 160 fever clinics, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and operated by State and Territory governments, are in operation across Australia.

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Pictured above: 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 COVID-19 GP respiratory clinic at Caboolture.