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Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN)—helping northern Queenslanders live happier, healthier, longer lives  |  nqphn.com.au 
21 January 2022

Latest COVID-19 update for general practices

Latest COVID information to support GPs

Queensland PHNs have updated the Queensland-wide PHN webpage with the latest information for general practice.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant has resulted in high case numbers across Queensland. As a result of the pressure this has put on the health system, acute care services are focusing their capacity to care for people with COVID-19 that are moderate to high risk. In this environment, under the Commonwealth funded model, patients accessing the National Coronavirus Helpline or using the online Symptom Checker, who are classified as moderate risk, are being directed to seek timely care from their GP. As a result, you may have noticed an increased number of calls to your practice from patients seeking an urgent telehealth consultation in line with this advice. We appreciate that this is adding to your current workforce pressures and value your cooperation in managing these workloads during these challenging times. PHNs remain committed to supporting general practice wherever possible and the webpage below with the following topics, will help provide guidance and clarification.

  • Suspected or confirmed COVID patients: This includes information about patients with suspected COVID-19, who will be triaged through the through the Symptom Checker or National Coronavirus Helpline, with those at moderate risk directed to call a GP for a telehealth appointment.
  • GP management of moderate risk patients:This includes information for GPs about an expected increase in demand for same day telehealth appointments, and strategies to increase availability.
  • HealthPathways: Updates to the pathways including information on COVID-19 Case Management, Suspected COVID-19, COVID-19 Requests, COVID-19 in RACFs and COVID-19 Practice Management, local health pathways.
  • Key messages: For your practice to communicate with patients for phone messaging scripts and websites
  • MBS Online and Telehealth details
  • PPE: Guidance on accessing PPE bundles and links to local PHNs for ordering
  • Critical Essential Worker Update
  • Events and Webinars
  • Resources

We encourage Queensland general practices to bookmark this link which will be regularly updated. The weblink is available here: Caring for patients with COVID-19

Advice about care for moderate risk patients is available through guidelines developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and local health pathways, which are the trusted and most current source of clinical information.

PHNs are committed to supporting general practice and providing updates as soon as new information is confirmed. To help GPs keep abreast of a rapidly evolving situation, Queensland PHNs, in collaboration with other key stakeholders, are planning a webinar next week, to discuss the health pathways and management of moderate risk patients. We will provide details as soon as this becomes available.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact contact NQPHN at preparednessandresponse@nqphn.com.au

Visit the Caring for patients with COVID-19 web page for GPs

Recommended COVID-19 resources

NQPHN is committed to supporting you during the COVID-19 pandemic, so please be assured we will update you with the relevant information from the Australian Government Department of Health and Queensland Health as and when we receive it.
 
To help you receive timely and clear information regarding COVID-19, NQPHN uses a subject line starting with ‘COVID-19:’ in all our email correspondence to you, so please prioritise accordingly.
 
NQPHN also recommends the following COVID-19 websites, so you can track the latest clinical advice and keep informed about COVID-19:

If you have any queries, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact NQPHN at preparednessandresponse@nqphn.com.au
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's First Nation Peoples and the Traditional Custodians of this land. We respect their continued connection to land and sea, country, kin, and community. We also pay our respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging as the custodians of knowledge and lore.
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