Vital medical supplies stolen from clinics


VALUABLE touchless thermometers used to detect fevers are being stolen from Gold Coast medical clinics, leaving many doctors with no way to screen patients.

Gowns, hand sanitiser and masks are in critically short supply for many private medical workers, who are now calling on the public to help out.

General Practitioners Gold Coast boss Dr Katrina McLean said doctors were offering to swap in-ear thermometers for touchless thermometers so they can screen incoming patients and visitors to aged care homes.

"Touchless thermometers are much safer to use when testing a large number of people," she said. "Right now we can't get our hands on them as they are either out of stock, or some clinics have reported them stolen.

"Touchless thermometers are not needed in a family home as you will only be testing a small number of people, so we are urging the public to help us out.

"This is a plea for people to stop stealing our supplies."

Doctors are also concerned about the number of patients ignoring warnings and arriving at health facilities with coronavirus symptoms - putting doctors and other patients at risk.

"Lots of GPs are reporting that people are still coming to the clinics not disclosing their conditions, despite being asked while booking their appointment," Dr McLean said.

"Anyone with a cough, cold, sore throat or fever absolutely needs to stay home and call the GP clinic for an initial telehealth appointment."

"Right now the Gold Coast has community spread, we have to take this pandemic far more seriously here.

"At present we are unable to test people without an immediate travel history or contact with someone with confirmed Covid19. There will be cases in the community that we aren't finding because we can't test. Anyone who is unwell needs to stay at home and follow instructions.

"Most people who have coronavirus will be able to manage at home. There is nothing we can actually do in the early stages. It is only if they develop complications.

"Stay at home and use the phone to keep everybody safe."

Originally published as Vital medical supplies stolen from Coast clinics

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