Care and treatment of patients with COVID-19
Page last updated 3:45pm 28 July 2022
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General practices are being asked to focus on care for moderate-risk COVID-19 positive patients. People triaged as moderate risk through the National Coronavirus Helpline and COVID-19 symptom checker are advised to seek care from their GP, with the vast majority of care being delivered by telehealth.
SpotOnHealth HealthPathways is your trusted source of up-to-date information on managing COVID-19-positive patients. You can access SpotOnHealth HealthPathways for clinical information on caring for patients with COVID-19 such as
- Disease Modifying treatments and drug interaction checker. This can be found under the COVID-19 Case Management section
- Escalation pathways and referrals into Hospital in the Home (HITH). This can be found under the COVID-19 requests page
- CAREPACT can assist general practitioners with specific enquiries around disease-modifying treatments and admission to hospital or HITH and information around COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care Facilities.
- Staying up to date with all COVID-19 recent changes
Register here to login to SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.
There have been updates in July 2022 to the model of care provided by Healthdirect to enable people who have COVID-19 who are at higher risk of developing severe diseases, or higher risk of getting unwell from COVID-19 — and eligible for antiviral treatment available via the PBS — to be connected with their regular general practitioner (GP) or another general practice.
COVID-19 Oral Treatments
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has expanded the eligibility criteria for Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule-listed COVID-19 oral treatments, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and Lagevrio (molnupiravir). Treatment is now recommended if commenced within five days of symptoms for the following groups:
- 70 years and older (including asymptomatic cases)
- 50 to 69 years of age with 2 additional risk factors
- First Nations peoples, 30 to 69 years of age with 2 additional risk factors
- 18+ years of age with moderate to severe immunocompromise.
Further resources and information on COVID-19 oral treatments useful in prescribing;
- SpotOnHealth HealthPathways for clinical information
- Department of Health website
- COVID-19 Interactions checker
- Find a Pharmacy website lists most pharmacies stocking COVID-19 oral treatments
- COVID-19 response update for primary care webinar – expanded eligibility for COVID-19 oral treatments – 12 July 2022
- COVID-19 oral treatments for people without a Medicare card
Some COVID-19 oral treatments have complex drug interactions which need to be checked. The COVID-19 drug interactions website is a highly recommended tool to use in the first instance. Local pharmacists can assist with further advice, as well as the QMAIS (phone 07 3646 7098 or email QMAIS@health.qld.gov.au).
General practice support
In-home care for patients in quarantine
To support the management of COVID-positive people in the community, Brisbane South PHN commissions local care providers to deliver in-home face-to-face care Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (excluding public holidays).
The home visits are intended to provide a visiting service to COVID-19 affected patients where face-to-face care would help avoid unnecessary escalation of patients to hospital.
Care may include, but is not limited to:
- acute wound management
- injury treatment
- chronic disease management.
- COVID-19 management.
General Practitioners (GPs) can arrange an in-home service for patients by submitting an online referral form or phone referral by calling 07 3063 0685, Monday to Friday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (excluding public holidays).
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 the primary care settings. To register for this service, select the organisation that best represents you:
Temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item is available to support medical practitioners providing clinically relevant treatment to COVID-19 positive people. The continued arrangements build on the temporary telehealth items introduced as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to enable all Medicare eligible Australians to access telehealth (video and phone) services for a range of out of hospital consultations.
MBS telehealth items will continue to be available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
View further information on the MBS Telehealth Services from January 2022
View the factsheet on additional 10 MBS Mental Health Sessions
GP Clinical Decision Line
For additional support and guidance in the management of suspected and confirmed COVID‑19 positive patients, call the Clinical Decision Support Line on (07) 3493‑4899.
Your call will be answered by a trained health professional who will guide you through the case management recommendations provided on SpotOnHealth HealthPathways, to help you find what you need.
Available Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce aims 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.
GP-led Respiratory Clinics (GPRC)
There are four GP-led respiratory clinics in the Brisbane south region that offer additional care options for community members with possible symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or respiratory symptoms.
Respiratory clinics have strict infection controls in place to protect staff and patients and utilise full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, gowns, goggles and gloves. Clinic staff provide assessment and initial treatment as well as testing, where needed. The patient’s nominated general practice will receive the results to ensure continuity of care.
The clinics are free for all patients, including those without a Medicare card. Patients can self-refer by calling or booking an appointment online at www.hotdoc.com.au. GPRCs are able to see patients with COVID-19 and respiratory symptoms in person as well as on telehealth.
Clinic locations and contact details
Clinic map for the Brisbane south region
- First Nations peoples – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) are at increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation or death if they get COVID-19. Health system bodies across the state are working together to ensure that First Nations Queenslanders have access to current, culturally appropriate and localised information.
- CALD communities – people born overseas are twice as likely to die from COVID. The COVID-19 Multicultural Telehealth Service is available within the greater Brisbane region and provides support in the patient’s own language via interpreters.
- People with disabilities – individuals will be best placed using their current care provider with who they have a relationship, and who knows their clinical history and care requirements. In most instances this is the individual’s General Practitioner (GP).
- Pregnant and breastfeeding people – infection with COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, admission to intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and death, in pregnant people, and an increased risk of prematurity and stillbirth.
- Children – The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has developed some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 in children, vaccines available in Australia, vaccine safety and schooling.
Events and webinars
Register for upcoming events and webinars for the latest information on the COVID-19 response.
Previous event recordings
Clinical practice resources:
- National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Clinical Flowcharts
- Managing COVID-19 in the workplace (Queensland Health)
- Reporting a COVID-19 death (Queensland Health)
- Home-care guidelines for patients with COVID-19 (RACGP)
- Caring for adult patients with post-COVID-19 conditions (RACGP)
- COVID-19 resources (RACGP)
- Queensland Health asset library provides posters and images that can be used around your practice to guide patients on how to manage and live with COVID-19