Private and government healthcare providers have confirmed health services will remain available to patients unable to access a COVID-19 test.
Concerns were raised after a Launceston mother said her son - living with down syndrome - could no longer be seen by doctors face to face without a negative COVID test.
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Australian Medical Association Tasmania spokesperson Dr Annette Barratt said while the delivery of some services may change, patients in need of care would not be turned away.
"For the people who can't [be tested] GPs will offer telehealth assessments either by telephone or by video conferencing, and certainly patients will never be turned away from that point of view," she said.
"If they need to be seen face to face, and that's the decision made by the doctor, then the doctors will make allowances."
Dr Barratt said clinics had implemented several methods of delivery that would allow them to treat patients who did not have a negative test or were considered a COVID risk.
Most commonly, patients were seen by doctors in full PPE while some clinics had established rooms separate from the rest of the clinic.
In some cases, patients would be seen in their car, in the car park of the clinic, or through a home visit.
Dr Barratt said with private clinics implementing their own COVID protocols around how services were delivered, service would be determined by the doctor in consultation with their patients.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Tasmania chairman Dr Tim Jackson said COVID tests could pose a challenge for some, including those with disabilities, but GPs with respiratory clinics could provide an alternative.
"If they have symptoms and they're unwell and you can get to a GP respiratory clinic, that would be good. Otherwise, call your GP to see what that practice is doing for those sorts of patients," he said.
"It's probably going to take more time and can be a bit more difficult and a little bit more stressful for parents, the child and staff, or a disabled person, but it can still be done."
"We work around that all the time, we have parents that assist and you have a nurse that can distract them, it's part of the art in examining children."
A Department of Health spokesperson said while a negative test was not required at the Launceston General Hospital or other Tasmanian health services, COVID protocols had been put in place, including screening and testing patients upon entry and wearing masks.
They said hospitals had the authority to make decisions regarding the testing of individuals under mitigating circumstances.
"The Tasmanian Health Service must take appropriate precautions to protect its staff and other patients from COVID-19," they said.
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The spokesperson confirmed, people with a disability or who care for people with a disability have been prioritised by the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
"Anyone who is in this category will be prioritised for an appointment when they call the Public Health Hotline and identify as either having a disability or caring for a person with a disability," they said.
Andrew Chounding is The Examiners Health Reporter, if you have a health-related story please email Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
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