Carbal Medical Clinic, Australia’s first Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service-led respiratory clinic, has opened in Toowoomba to reduce Covid-19 burden on local hospital emergency departments and other clinics.

The new clinic is intended for testing as well as treatment related to Covid-19 infection.

Carbal Medical Clinic is expected to cater to patients with fever, cough, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms while decreasing the risk of community infections.

Federal Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton said: “The respiratory clinic will enable members of the community with symptoms to receive the appropriate medical advice and get tested, without posing a risk to other patients in the clinic who may be seeing their GP for a non-Covid-19 related reason.

“While the pandemic is not widespread in regional areas as yet, it’s important we have local doctors leading the local response and preparation for their communities.”

The clinic is also intended to aid in preventing the infection in Indigenous Australians, who are said to be at higher risk of chronic conditions and other health issues.

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Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt noted: “This means that an outbreak of COVID-19 in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community has the potential to be very serious. This testing program will help protect Indigenous Australians against the virus.”

The government has allocated A$206.7m ($133.2m) to build approximately 100 respiratory clinics
across the country, including in rural and regional areas in all states and territories.

Futhermore, more than 200 fever clinics, which are co-funded by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments, are operating in the country Australia.

Earlier this week, a hospital at the Westmead Health Precinct’s new Central Acute Services Building in Western Sydney, Australia has been completed nearly three month early to help cater to potential rise in Covid-19 cases.