The establishment of community assessment clinics and mobile testing has been a significant step in the response to COVID-19.
An important part of the Metro North response to COVID-19 has been the establishment of drive through, mobile satellite and hotel quarantine assessment clinics.
Community and Oral Health Executive Director Tami Photinos said the assessment and mobile clinics have been a vital measure that has underpinned the broader statewide and service response to the crisis.
“The clinics have played a key role in helping combat the virus and minimise community transmission,” she said.
“As the situation unfolded it was clear that we needed to be able to rapidly assess our patients, visitors to our service and people in the community who may be concerned.”
Since the clinics were open in early 2020 and by the August more than 20,000 patients have now been assessed at our community-based clinics, mobile satellite clinics or at hotels.
“The Pine Rivers Assessment Clinic sees on average around 150-200 patients each day, with presentations regularly going beyond 200,” Ms Photinos said.
“At our peak we assessed and tested around 500-600 patients at the Pine Rivers drive through clinic in one day.”
As part of the response community clinics were initially setup at Brighton Health Campus and Pine Rivers Community Health Centre.
“More recently, we worked closely with the Public Health Unit to set up mobile clinics to screen and test quarantined travellers in major hotels,” Tami said.
“In its first two weeks, the mobile clinic had swabbed in excess of 1,000 returning travellers from overseas.”
Ms Photinos said the clinics helped divert presentations away from hospitals and supported the need to test as many people as possible to minimise the risk of community transmission.
“Having these community-based assessment and testing options has helped reduce the fears and worries of our community by being able to access clinics close at hand in the community,” she said.
“I want to acknowledge everyone who has played a part in the rapid and safe set up and running of these mobile satellite and community assessment clinics. There has been an extensive amount of planning and logistical work completed.”