In these extraordinary times, it’s important to acknowledge the work that is being undertaken right across the state of Western Australia as we tackle the challenges posed by Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Routine testing of suspected cases has returned nearly 8,000 negative results in WA to date – more than 1000 of these were for people living in regional WA.
To further strengthen access to testing in the regions, a dedicated COVID clinic has also been established at Bunbury Hospital. Opening today, this clinic will operate between 10am and 4pm seven days a week.
The same testing criteria will apply for this clinic as for the three metropolitan clinics currently operating out of Fiona Stanley Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital.
Regional patients do not need to travel to the metropolitan area to be tested – instead, they’re able to present to one of the WA Country Health Service’s 100 hospital and health services to be tested for suspected COVID-19.
Testing in the regions can also be undertaken at clinics operated by the Aboriginal Medical Services, SilverChain or Royal Flying Doctor Service. While facing a moderate increase in demand, the WA Country Health Service continues to manage the situation ably – supported by its highly skilled workforce and network of community healthcare providers and general practitioners.
I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their extraordinary efforts in protecting the health of country Western Australians.
I also wish to reassure communities in regional and remote WA that we are working closely with local stakeholders, including the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and Aboriginal Community-controlled health services to minimise the potential impact of COVID-19 on their communities.
The WA Country Health Service, and WA Health more broadly, remains in close contact with Aboriginal Medical Services, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, St John Ambulance, St John of God Healthcare, WA Primary Health Alliance, SilverChain and its network of rural and regional general practitioners.
Thank you all for your efforts, continue to practice good hygiene measures and stay healthy.
Dr Andrew Robertson
WA Chief Health Officer