COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic Opens in Cowra


Communities in the Riverina Electorate are beginning to have their defences bolstered through key General Practices establishing specialised clinics to diagnose patients for coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses.

A COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic has been approved by the Federal Government for Cowra and will commence operation on May 18 through Cowra Medical Associates at 165-169 Kendal Street under strict infection control guidelines.

Under the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Commonwealth is supporting dedicated general practice respiratory clinics for patients with mild-to-moderate fever and respiratory symptoms.

Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Cowra clinic is among 100 being opened around Australia to assess patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 like symptoms.

“The GP-led clinics will help to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments and other general practices,” Mr McCormack said.

“Rural and regional residents deserve health care services which are just as good as those provided in our major cities and the national roll-out of these new clinics is part of addressing that.

“These respiratory clinics will be vital in the fight against COVID-19 and anyone with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms should be tested to help avoid the risk of infection in our local communities.”

Cowra Medical Associates Practice Manager, Maryann Wood, says the establishment of the clinic has been a significant process, which began in March, when the practice initiated an immediate Covid19 pandemic response, commencing respiratory clinics for the community.

“There has been an enormous amount of work done and energy injected into seeing this Respiratory Clinic come to fruition and the addition of the outdoor consultation facility is hugely rewarding and extremely beneficial to our town.” Mrs Wood said.

Mrs Wood also praised the Practice’s staff, saying “The way in which our staff have stepped up and been so supportive throughout the establishment process and the Covid19 situation has been truly magnificent. Their work really is testament to their and the practice’s commitment to the community of Cowra and the surrounding district.”

Cowra Council Mayor, Councillor Bill West, has praised the community for its efforts in responding to the threat of COVID-19.

“The people of Cowra have conducted themselves exceptionally during this time, and I implore locals to continue to follow the social distancing, gatherings and travel guidelines being directed by the NSW and Federal Governments.”

Mayor West added, “This new Respiratory Clinic facility is another vital step forward for our community to continue to stay safe.”

“It is a perfect example of what can be achieved by communities when supported in cooperation by Federal and Local Governments and the integral work of Cowra Medical Associates and the Western NSW Primary Health Network,” Mayor West said.

Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) CEO Andrew Harvey says the Cowra Respiratory Clinic complements an enormous amount of work already undertaken by GPs and clinicians across hospital and primary health care, further strengthening the preparedness for COVID-19, and importantly also ensuring the vital business of regular primary care continues unhindered.

“This respiratory clinic provides additional capacity in Cowra to support early detection and reinforce services, and I’m very grateful for the support of Cowra Medical Associates in helping to set up this important addition to our COVID-19 infrastructure,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Harvey added that “While performing vitally important work in its own right, the Respiratory Clinic also provides added comfort for people without respiratory complaints to continue to visit their GP and other health professionals for regular check-ups and other issues, to ensure that small complaints now do not become major health concerns later.”

Under the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Commonwealth is supporting dedicated general practice respiratory clinics for patients with mild-to-moderate fever and respiratory symptoms.

The clinics will be staffed by local GPs who will assess, test and diagnose referred respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, in a dedicated part of their premises, within strict criteria to safely manage infection control, as part of a FREE service to patients.

Working closely with the Department of Health and Aspen Medical, the WNSWPHN has collaborated with the Western and Far Western Local Health Districts to ensure a collaborative response to COVID-19 across the region, while also assisting General Practices and Aboriginal Medical Services to meet the strict COVID-19 guidelines, navigate the contract management process and audit Practices as part of the selection process.

Patients can make a booking by phoning Cowra Medical Associates on 02 6341 1400 or online at (search for Cowra Respiratory Clinic).

The Clinic will operate from 8:30am to 12:30pm Weekdays.