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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.
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.
We’ve created a simple A4 poster that explains everything you need to know about the respiratory clinics, including:
These clinics are for people of any age who have cold or flu-like symptoms. That includes:
The clinics are not for people experiencing severe symptoms. If you have severe symptoms, call 000 for an ambulance.
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.
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.
There are three clinics spread across the state, located at:
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:
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.
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:
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:
Please don’t call the Public Health Hotline for your test results – the clinic where you were tested will contact you.
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.
Severe symptoms may include – trouble breathing, chest pains, bluish lips or face or sudden confusion.
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, call 000.
Click here to find out more about the coronavirus pandemic, including Australian and Tasmanian Government resources and key information.