ACT needs drive-through and home testing to fight spread of COVID-19

Our highest priority is the wellbeing and safety of every Canberran.

That’s why the Canberra Liberals want the ACT Government to act swiftly to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by implementing drive-through testing facilities and home testing for the less mobile.

Recognising the limits of the ACT’s health system, the ACT Government needs to adopt urgent measures to reduce pressure on our emergency departments which are at-capacity at the best of times, and to prevent the long wait times in walk-in centres from increasing.

Importantly, we need to avoid a situation where potential cases are held in waiting rooms with other patients for hours before they are attended.

The Canberra Liberals are therefore urging the ACT Government to immediately implement a drive-through COVID-19 testing station.

A drive-through testing station would allow dedicated health professionals to test potential cases in the quarantine of their private vehicle.

The ACT Government should also implement a home visit program for potential cases that do not own a car, or otherwise face transport difficulties.

This would ensure potential cases in self-isolation still have access to health care.

These measures become especially important as we approach the flu season. If we experience an early start to the flu season, complicated by COVID-19, the ACT’s health system will fail.

The Canberra Liberals recognise that staffing these programs will be a challenge. That’s why we are encouraging the ACT Government to actively recruit retired GPs and nurses to come back into the fold. There are also commercial medical agencies that routinely put medical teams together at short notice.

The Canberra Liberals have consulted with industry experts who are supportive of our approach. Now is not the time for bureaucratic processes. Now is the time for action.

The Canberra Liberals are grateful for the Federal Government’s $17.6 billion stimulus package, announced today. While this will help many Canberra families, businesses and employees, we know there is more that can be done on local level to strengthen our resilience.