Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney has thanked the Federal Government for establishing a respiratory clinic in the city to help in the fight against the coronavirus.
Mr Blayney said The Nationals WA wrote to Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton earlier this month requesting that Geraldton be one of the priority locations for the general practitioner-based facilities.
“Minister Coulton advised that there would be at least 10 respiratory clinics specifically in regional WA and we recommended that putting Geraldton on the list would be a great place to start,” he said.
“This facility will take some pressure off Geraldton Hospital, which was already under stress before the onset of COVID-19.
“The clinic also gives the people of the Mid West the confidence that if the situation with coronavirus deteriorates – and we have seen how quickly it can spread – there are services that can provide the necessary healthcare.
“It is pleasing that Minister Coulton agreed with The Nationals WA and saw the urgent need for a respiratory facility in Geraldton and we thank him for his work in providing this help for the Mid West.”
The Federal Government had announced $206.7 million would be available to put in 100 respiratory centres across the country.
Mr Blayney said the Federal Government would provide $150,000 to help set up the Geraldton clinic around an approved GP service. They will also be funded to assess, test and diagnose respiratory cases including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia.
“As part of the National Health Plan, respiratory clinics focus on diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19, which is a huge game changer for regional areas where these diseases could have a serious effect on our remote communities,” Mr Blayney said.
“Although the number of COVID-19 positive cases have been declining, we have seen around Australia, and around the world, the possibility of localised outbreaks and our regional communities need the facilities to cope with rises in patients in the near future.”
Mr Blayney reiterated Federal and State Government advice around testing, stating that it is vital Geraldton residents follow testing procedures to ensure the clinic operates the most efficiently that it can.
“Any person presenting with a fever over 38°C, a history of a fever in the last few days or an acute respiratory infection e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat will be tested,” Mr Blayney said.
“It’s crucial for individuals who have these symptoms to phone Batavia Health on 99658100 to make an appointment to be tested rather than just turning up to help ensure testing goes smoothly.