Cape Byron Medical Centre, in collaboration with Australian Government Department of Health and NCPHN, has established the Ballina Respiratory Clinic at the Cherry Street Sports Club.
Cape Byron Medical Centre, in collaboration with Australian Government Department of Health and NCPHN, has established the Ballina Respiratory Clinic at the Cherry Street Sports Club.

Fee-free GP clinic in Ballina

IN RESPONSE to COVID-19, Cape Byron Medical Centre is offering telehealth services for General Practice, Allied Health and Specialists, wherever possible.

GP appointments, as well as physio, dietetics, and many specialist appointments are available to all patients, ensuring the exceptional care offered by all Cape Byron Medical practitioners continues during COVID-19. To assist all local GP practices as well as local hospitals, Cape Byron Medical Centre, in collaboration with Australian Government Department of Health and North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN), has established the Ballina Respiratory Clinic, at the Cherry Street Sports Club.

The fee-free, GP-led respiratory clinic is part of the Australian Government's $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. NCPHN's CEO Julie Sturgess said the clinic was a great example of local collaboration to support the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

The clinic will assess people with respiratory symptoms and, where appropriate, undertake testing to diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia. Results will be available within one day.

"The clinic will provide the opportunity for people to undergo assessment and testing in a safe environment, close to home and will protect our most vulnerable community members," Ms Sturgess said.

"Importantly, it will support local health care services - taking the pressure off hospitals and general practices by providing dedicated treatment to people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of fever or sore throat, cough, fatigue or shortness of breath.

Dr Tonya Coren, principal GP of Cape Byron Medical Centre, is leading the clinical team coordinating the respiratory clinic, which has been established with the highest standards of infection prevention and control and quality assurance. It has private access through a purpose-built section off the back deck of Cherry Street Sports Club. Federal Regional Health Minister, Mark Coulton, said the Ballina clinic would help take the pressure off local hospitals and general practices by providing dedicated treatment to people with mild-to-moderate respiratory symptoms, and help to minimise the risk of infection in the community.

"The clinic is part of a range of measures the Australian Government is putting in place, including additional practice incentives and the expansion of telehealth to enable the rural medical workforce to continue to care for regional Australians through this crisis," Minister Coulton said. To book, go to health.gov.au or capebyronmedical.com.au/ballinarc or phone 02 6685 6326. BRC is open Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm.