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Information for GPs

Latest COVID-19 advice for general practice including information on testing criteria, the vaccine rollout, financial support and personal protective equipment.

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Some surgery and outpatient care postponed

Queensland is currently experiencing a COVID surge and Queensland Health staff are prioritising the care of severely unwell patients. To do this, some planned surgery and outpatient care has been postponed. Postponing non-urgent planned care will allows hospital staff to still treat emergency patients in addition to the growing numbers of COVID patients.

Patients affected by this decision will be contacted directly and appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Queensland Health ask that unless it is an emergency people with COVID symptoms do not present to the emergency department in the first instance to limit the risk of transmission. Please contact the Virtual ED where you will receive clinical advice and referral if needed.

A reminder that non-urgent respiratory treatment is available through GP Respiratory Clinics, located at Morayfield, Nundah, South Bank, Kenmore and Caboolture (IUIH) in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

Caring for patients

To streamline and simplify processes for consumers to access care and information about their COVID-19 infection, all consumers will be directed to the National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080 supported by the HealthDirect Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker. The additional option of completing the Queensland Health’s COVID-19 Care Self-Checker will no longer be available from 4:00 pm on 28 July 2022.

GPs should refer to their local HealthPathways for up-to-date information on the clinical management of these patients, including escalation pathways if people deteriorate and referral to disease modifying treatments such as monoclonal antibodies.

Testing patients for COVID-19

For the latest information on COVID-19 testing, visit Queensland Health’s COVID-19 testing requirements webpage.

COVID-19 testing requirements

Escalating a patient with COVID-19 to Metro North Health Virtual ED or COVID virtual ward

If you require urgent COVID clinical advice (eg. deteriorating patient, access for monoclonal antibodies) or referral to Virtual Ward:

**These numbers are for clinician contact only and should not be shared with patients**

Contact the Metro North Health Virtual ED:

  • Hours: 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Phone: 1300 847 833

Outside of these hours, contact the Metro North Health COVID-19 virtual ward by phone:

  • 1300 013 377
  • 07 3074 2109
  • Via switch on 07 3646 8111

Patient self-testing tools

Most people can manage COVID-19 at home and are advised to utilise the tools and helplines below in the first instance they suspect they have COVID-19.

Access HealthDirect Australia COVID-19 symptom checker to answer questions about your symptoms to see if you need to seek medical help or get tested.

National Coronavirus Hotline 1800 020 080 - Available 24 hours a day 7 days per week, with an interpreter available (press 8).

Polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR)

PCR tests are no longer required to confirm a positive rapid antigen test (RAT).

PCR tests are available where RATs cannot be accessed.

PCR Testing sites

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) - Positive Result Registration

A positive RAT result must be reported to Queensland Health. RATs can be purchased at pharmacies and retail stores.

Queensland Health have a limited supply at testing sites.

Reporting a positive rapid antigen test (RAT)

If they are unable to complete the above form or need help, they can call 134 COVID (134 268).

Note:
if they took a PCR test at a testing clinic and received an SMS with a positive result, they do not need to report it. The testing clinic will report it to Queensland Health directly.

Telehealth

The Department of Health has extended the healthdirect Video Call COVID- 19 GP Program to 31 December 2022.

We encourage you to continue using this secure video consulting platform which has been purpose-built for primary care settings, in line with the changes to the telehealth MBS items.

Visit the healthdirect website

Face-to-face

A temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item has been made available to support medical practitioners providing clinically relevant treatment to COVID-19 positive people.

View MBS COVID-19 Management Support Service

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

The Taskforce works to provide the best COVID-19 evidence that supports clinicians to provide the best possible care for Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce undertakes continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19.

View Taskforce website

Primary Care COVID-19 vaccine program

Where to direct your general practice queries
The PHN has developed a workflow diagram for GPs, to help you direct your COVID-19 vaccination queries to the right place. Please click through to view or download below.

Pathways for vaccinating Greater Brisbane’s vulnerable people

Brisbane North PHN and Brisbane South PHN are working together to improve access to the COVID-19 vaccine for people who would benefit from additional support.

HealthPathway

HealthPathways contains the most up to date information on support for COVID-19 patients. Your local COVID-19 Case Management HealthPathway is available for clinicians to provide clinical guidance on the assessment, triage and management of COVID-19 positive people in the community.

PPE suppliers in Australia

The PHN has made every effort to determine the legitimacy of these companies, but cannot guarantee their level of service. This information is being provided to support practices, but it is not an endorsement of the companies listed.

Flowchart for GP assessment of patients with suspected COVID-19

The flowchart for GP assessment of patients with suspected COVID-19 has been updated by the Queensland HealthPathway Community and GP Liaison Network.

COVID-19 checklist

Brisbane North PHN have developed a primary healthcare service COVID-19 checklist. The checklist is designed as a support tool for COVID-19 practice readiness for general practices in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

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Financial support measures for general practice

There is a variety of support measures in place for general practices affected by the impact of COVID-19. These include support measures announced by the Australian Government, the Queensland Government, tax relief initiatives via the Australian Taxation Office and support packages from Australian banks.

Download the financial support measures


Drs4Drs support

Staffed by senior GPs and experienced counsellors trained in doctors’ health, Drs4Drs is a free medical service for GPs seeking support. An initiative from the Department of Health and Medical Board of Australia to ensure GPs have access to care and support when they need it. This is a 24/7, free and confidential service you can access by calling 1300 Dr4Drs (1300 374 377).

View more information


Health professionals disability advisory service

The COVID-19 Health Professionals Disability Advisory Service provides specialised advice for health professionals delivering care in primary or acute care settings. During COVID-19, some people with disability may require adjustments to their healthcare to ensure they receive COVID-19 testing and/or treatment with minimum distress.

Healthcare professionals can call the service from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm Monday to Friday on 1800 131 330.