GP-led respiratory clinics

This page is for Tasmanian health professionals – if you’re a consumer and want to know more about the GP-led respiratory clinics, please click here.

What are GP-led respiratory clinics?

Primary Health Tasmania has helped set up four GP-led respiratory clinics across Tasmania as part of our role in the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These clinics are for assessing, testing (if needed) and treating the 80 per cent of COVID-19 patients who will experience mild to moderate symptoms. There is no cost to the patient.

Infographic quick guide

Primary Health Tasmania has developed an A4 infographic to help health professionals understand how the GP-led respiratory clinics fit into Tasmania’s broader COVID-19 response.

The resource steps you through the key points about:

  • screening a patient inquiry
  • making an initial assessment for respiratory symptoms
  • testing and treatment options that are available.

Please note: if you print the resource, make sure you set your printer options to landscape.

Click here to download the infographic resource.

What kind of patients are they for?

These clinics are for patients of any age who present with mild-to-moderate respiratory or flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • fever
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore or scratchy throat
  • cough
  • muscle aches and pains
  • shortness of breath.

There is no charge for people with these symptoms. People not eligible for Medicare can also be assessed and tested (if needed) for free.

Do they see children?

Yes. People of all ages – including children –  who have cold and flu-like symptoms should be tested for coronavirus.

Children under the age of five should be reviewed by a GP before a sample is collected. If the family’s usual GP or practice is unable to assess young children with respiratory symptoms, the child should be referred to one of these GP-led respiratory clinics.

Where are the clinics located?

There are four clinics spread across the state, located at:

Do I need to write a referral to send someone to these clinics?

A referral is not required. If a patient appears eligible to attend, you can recommend they make an appointment (or assist them to make an appointment) by either:

  1. Phoning the clinic nearest (the locations are listed below)
  2. Booking online via the HotDoc website.

What’s the difference between these respiratory clinics, and the ones set up by the Tasmanian Health Service?

The GP-led respiratory clinics are able to offer assessment and management for people with respiratory symptoms, as well as testing (if needed). The THS respiratory clinics only undertake COVID-19 testing.

Some of the THS respiratory clinics require a referral from a GP or via the Public Health Hotline, whereas patients can make their own appointment at a GP-led respiratory clinic.

How are test results notified?

The GP-led respiratory clinics will let patients know their test result – negative or positive. They will contact the patient as soon as they receive the result from the laboratory. This could take several days. With the patient’s permission, results will also be shared with their regular GP.

Pathology services will notify Public Health Services of all positive results. Public Health Services will follow up with positive patients to ensure they are aware of requirements around self-isolation and to connect them with GP Assist for advice on managing their illness, unless this is being done by the patient’s regular GP.

Can these clinics provide ongoing care for patients who test positive?

In Tasmania, patients who test positive are connected with GP Assist for advice on managing their illness, unless this is being done by the patient’s regular GP.

GP-led respiratory clinics may be involved in providing ongoing care in some specific situations, e.g. if the patient requires face-to-face care and their usual general practice isn’t able to assist (this may be particularly relevant in regional and rural areas).

Can these clinics provide ongoing care for patients who test negative?

Patients who test negative and require ongoing care will be reconnected with their usual GP.

Where do I find all the key information about the clinics, in one spot?

Apart from this web page, the best place for all localised information for primary health professionals about COVID-19 services and impacts in Tasmania is Tasmanian HealthPathways.

All Tasmanian health professionals can access this database. If you don’t already have the log in and password, please get in touch.

Useful links