Community & Business

1 September, 2022

GPs praised for Covid response

A NEW report shows that during the height of the Covid pandemic, health agencies, GPs and pharmacies played a vital role in delivering more than 770,000 vaccinations in our region.

GPs praised for Covid response - feature photo

The report by the North Queensland Primary Health Care Network shows that over the past 28 months, 136 general practices, 11 Aboriginal health organisations and three respiratory clinics and 112 pharmacies administered 777,492 doses of the vaccines in the region. 

NQPHN Co-Chair Tara Diversi said a review done by the organisation was an opportunity for NQPHN to say thank you to the general practices, health organisations and other primary care providers for the dedication and hard work they have provided to help northern Queenslanders stay safe and live happier, healthier, longer lives during the pandemic. 

NQPHN CEO Robin Whyte said general practices continued to deliver the vaccine doses every day as well as influenza vaccinations this winter. 

“General practices are the core of our health system, and during the Covid-19 response, they have had to adapt to new ways of caring for patients, such as the introduction of telehealth services and the expanded use of PPE, while still responding to an increase in business-as-usual services,” Ms Whyte said. 

The latest state-wide figures, comparing data in March 2019 and in March 2022, show there had been an 11.5 per cent increase in chronic disease management, a 10.6 per cent increase in mental health care, and a 4.8 per cent increase in health assessment.

“These latest figures acknowledge the leadership role taken, and volume of activity delivered, by general practices and health organisations during the pandemic,” Ms Whyte said. 

“GPs and practice staff such as managers, nurses, and receptionists, as well as Indigenous health workers, have been nothing short of inspirational.” 

The report also found that general practice quickly adopted new models of service delivery to ensure continuity of care during the pandemic, including screening of patients at the booking stage, triaging of patients with telehealth appointments, reconfiguring clinics and clinic schedules, installation of personal screens, and routine use of personal protective equipment.


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