Health shift

SA Health will open a new smaller COVID vaccination clinic in Mount Gambier as mass vaccination clinics are starting to wind down operations in line with the overwhelming number of South Australians who have been vaccinated.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton said yesterday as vaccination rates rise with almost 94% of South Australians having received at least two doses of the vaccine and 73% of eligible South Australians and 68.5% of those aged 16 and over having received a booster, the state’s vaccination clinics were now experiencing dwindling demand.

“A new SA Health site in the northern suburbs will open on Thursday, July 7, located at the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network’s (NALHN) GP Plus site at Elizabeth, with new, smaller sites in Berri and Mount Gambier also to open,” he said.

“Mobile clinics will continue to service areas across the metropolitan areas, particularly in the northern and southern suburbs, as well across all regional areas such as Mount Barker, Gawler, the South Coast, Mount Gambier, Quorn, Hawker, Leigh Creek, Roxby Down, Ceduna, with outreach to Streaky Bay and Wudinna.

“In addition, there will still be mobile clinics servicing local areas of need with communities to be notified of upcoming dates of visits.

“This will importantly free up nursing staff to provide acute care, particularly at South Australia’s busy public hospitals during the winter months.”

Meanwhile, operational changes have been made at the Mount Gambier Hospital in relation to the management of COVID-19.

The hospital last week opened an Infectious Diseases Ward at the Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service (MGDHS).

A Limestone Coast Local Health Network spokesperson said the new ward would allow the facility to “safely co-locate patients with COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory infections and streamline patient care”.

“The Infectious Diseases Ward is a modern build with individual rooms for patients and separate air flow systems, which mitigate the spread of disease,” the spokesperson said.

“The 16-bed Infectious Diseases Ward opened Tuesday, June 21 and is situated where the COVID ward used to be.”

Meanwhile, the COVID concierge system remains in place at the hospital’s front entrance.

“It will be reviewed weekly to determine when it is appropriate to return to managing visitors at a ward level,” the spokesperson said.

“The Emergency Department model of care is being reviewed in relation to COVID-19 patients and we will provide more information to the community on this and the dedicated ED marquee as soon as possible.”

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