GP-led respiratory clinics

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

What are they?

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

These clinics will see, test (if needed) and treat at no cost the 80 per cent of people with coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) who experience mild to moderate symptoms.

The idea is that they’ll help both the state’s hospitals and other general practices: the hospitals can keep their facilities free to see those with more severe symptoms, and GPs can keep seeing their usual patients who do not have respiratory symptoms to help reduce the spread of disease.

The Tasmanian Government also has a number of testing clinics, some of which need a referral from a GP or through the Public Health Hotline (1800 671 738). These clinics are also free. More information here.

Some GPs are also doing testing in their regular practice. You can check with your usual GP to see if they do testing and whether there is a charge.

Visual quick guide

We’ve created a simple A4 poster that explains everything you need to know about the respiratory clinics, including:

  • who they’re for
  • what kind of symptoms they treat
  • how you can book an appointment
  • what happens when you go to a clinic
  • where they’re located in the state
  • contact details.

Click here to download a copy of the poster.

Who are they for?

These clinics are for people of any age who have cold or flu-like symptoms. That includes:

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

The clinics are not for people experiencing severe symptoms. If you have severe symptoms, call 000 for an ambulance.

Do these clinics 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 checked by a GP before they have a test. Your family’s usual GP may be able see your child (face to face or by telehealth), or you can see a doctor at one of these GP-led respiratory clinics.

Will I be charged?

There is no charge for people with mild to moderate cold or flu-like symptoms.

People not eligible for Medicare can also be assessed and tested (if needed) for free.

Where are they?

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

How do I make an appointment?

You don’t need a doctor’s referral to go to these free clinics, but you do need to make an appointment. Don’t just turn up.

You can make an appointment in two ways:

  1. By phoning the clinic nearest to you (the locations are listed below)
  2. By booking online via the HotDoc website.

Click here to download a simple step-by-step guide to making an appointment on the HotDoc website.

What do I do while I'm waiting for my appointment?

If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, however mild, you must assume you have coronavirus until your test result comes back.

It’s important to protect others – maintain social distancing and wash your hands before you leave your house. Go straight to the clinic to have the test done; don’t stop anywhere on the way there or the way back. If you don’t have private transport, please discuss this with the clinic.

If you arrive early, or if your GP is running slightly behind schedule, you may be asked to wait in your car until the doctor or nurse is ready to see you.

If you start experiencing severe symptoms, please call 000 immediately or attend your nearest hospital emergency department.

What happens at the clinic?

A nurse or GP will see you when you arrive for your appointment, and decide if you need to be tested for coronavirus. Not everyone will require a test.

If you are tested for coronavirus, please ensure you follow these directions while you wait for your result:

  • stay at home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms
  • cover your coughs and sneezes
  • keep 1.5 metres (two large steps) away from other people or wear a mask
  • wash your hands often
  • know when and how to seek further help.

See I’ve been tested, now what? for more information.

The clinic where you were tested will contact you with your result as soon as they receive the result from the laboratory. This could take several days.

Two things can happen when the test results come back:

  1. If the test result is positive, the clinic doctor or nurse will contact you to let you know, and you will also receive a call from Public Health Services explaining what you need to do next (for example, rules about having to stay at home, and keeping track of your symptoms).
  2. If the test result is negative, the clinic doctor or nurse will contact you to let you know, and tell you how to manage your symptoms.

Please don’t call the Public Health Hotline for your test results – the clinic where you were tested will contact you.

Is it safe to go to these clinics?

Yes, strict infection control processes are in place at the clinic to keep you and staff safe.

It is important that you only attend the clinic at your set appointment time, wait in your car until just before your appointment, and maintain social distancing when you do go inside.

You’ll need to bring your current Medicare card if you have one, and your identification.

If you can, please avoid taking public transport to get to the clinic, and wash your hands before you leave your house.

Also follow any advice the clinic staff give you about wearing a mask.

What if I'm not sure if my symptoms are mild, or more severe?

Severe symptoms may include – trouble breathing, chest pains, bluish lips or face or sudden confusion.

If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, call 000.

Where do I find out more about coronavirus (COVID-19) in general?

Click here to find out more about the coronavirus pandemic, including Australian and Tasmanian Government resources and key information.