New respiratory clinic for kids opens in North Melbourne
A new GP-led respiratory clinic (GPRC) for kids has opened in North Melbourne, connecting children with respiratory symptoms to doctors and nurses.
The aim of the clinic is to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital emergency departments, and so reducing strain on on our health system.
The clinic, which is located at 505 Abbottsford St, North Melbourne, is part of a joint venture operated by community health service, Cohealth, commissioned by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN), and funded by the Victorian Department of Health.
The clinic 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 emergency departments,” Cohealth chief executive, Nicole Bartholomeusz said.
The clinic is designed to meet the need for after-hours treatment with open times from 6pm to 11pm on weekdays, and 10am to 6pm on weekends.
As well as treating children with respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, the clinic will test and treat the parents who bring them.
“We will treat the whole family – parents and their children are welcome,” said Ms Bartholomeusz.
According to NWMPHN chief executive, Christopher Carter, the new clinic will “mean families can all be treated at the same location, by the same GP.”
“This child-focused GPRC is located close to the Royal Children’s Hospital so is easy to reach,” he said. “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 Triple Zero (000).” •
Photo caption: NWMPHN chief executive, Christopher Carter.