26 September 2023

More respiratory clinics a breath of fresh air

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More GP Respiratory Clinics are to be opened in Adelaide following the finding that waiting times at GP doctors’ surgeries had increased by 49 per cent across the State in the past two years.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton said four expanded clinics would help patients with respiratory symptoms, as well as children and adults with conditions such as asthma and tonsillitis who would otherwise have to wait to see their usual GP.

“Latest data shows that South Australian GP wait times have increased … over the past two years to an average four-day wait, largely due to workforce and funding pressures,” Mr Picton said.

“These changes will help ease that pressure by increasing capacity for same-day appointments and allow hundreds of patients to be seen each week through face-to-face and telehealth appointments,” he said.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick said the new SA Health Respiratory Pathway would provide specialised care to patients with respiratory conditions who could not seek face-to-face care with their usual GP.

“These clinics offer face-to-face assessment of symptoms and initial advice, with ongoing care transitioned back to their GP following the appointment,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

“The expanded sites deliver a streamlined system that supports real-time booking which has online access open 30 minutes until booking time,” she said.

Mr Picton said Pooraka was the first of the four clinics across Adelaide that would be able to assess people experiencing mild to moderate respiratory symptoms without the need for a referral.

He said sites at Parkside, Athelstone and Old Reynella would open over coming weeks and aimed to provide a seven-day service until the end of September.

Mr Picton said the GP Respiratory Clinics, which were established for COVID-19 testing, vaccination and assessment only in April 2020, would continue to treat COVID-positive patients in addition to the expanded services.

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