Update June 2023: Please note that this clinic has now closed. Visit the Victorian Government website to find your closest GP respiratory clinic. The article below has been retained for posterity only.
A new GP-led respiratory clinic (GPRC) for kids has opened in North Melbourne. It connects children with respiratory symptoms to doctors and nurses, thereby avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital Emergency Departments.
Operated by community health service, cohealth, commissioned by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) and funded by the Department of Health, the paediatric GPRC is located at 505 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne. It is free, and no Medicare card is required.
“Keeping kids out of hospital is a number one priority for everyone, and these new paediatric GP respiratory clinics give parents a pathway that doesn’t involve going to ED,” said cohealth Chief Executive, Nicole Batholomeusz.
The clinic is open 6pm to 11pm on weekdays, and 10am to 6pm on weekends – designed to meet the need for after-hours treatment.
As well as treating children with respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, the clinic will also test and treat the parents who bring them.
“We will treat the whole family – parents and their children are welcome,” said Ms Bartholomeusz.
“This will mean families can all be treated at the same location, by the same GP.”
NWMPHN Chief Executive, Christopher Carter, said, “This child-focused GPRC is located close to the Royal Children’s Hospital so is easy to reach. It represents an excellent, free alternative to taking your children to the Emergency Department. Of course, if the child is in severe distress you should still call an ambulance on 000.”