Dubbo is getting one of the 100 GP-led respiratory clinics earmarked for rural and regional Australia as part of the federal government's response to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton has revealed negotiations are under way between the government and a GP surgery in Dubbo to host the clinic where patients will not be charged for treatment or tests.
The GP surgery and location of the respiratory clinic were not identified by Mr Coulton during a visit to Dubbo on Tuesday.
But he said it would "probably open in a few weeks" and aimed to keep people with mild-to-moderate coronavirus-like symptoms away from Dubbo Hospital's Emergency Department.
The first of the 100 clinics was opened last week at Emerald in Queensland.
Costing the federal government $206.7 million, they are part of its life-saving $2.4 billion health package.
The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) has been heavily involved in the selection of Dubbo and other communities as possible sites for respiratory clinics.
Chief executive officer Andrew Harvey said input from local health districts, GPs and Aboriginal medical services had helped identify sites with the potential to meet the criteria set by the Australian Department of Health for the clinics.
"The PHN has also engaged with GPs and practices from the region to lodge expressions of interest to become the lead organisation for respective respiratory clinics," he said.
"Those expressions have been forwarded on to the Department of Health which, with those organisations, will now negotiate their terms of operation."
"Five of these identified sites, Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange, Cowra and Dubbo, were visited by Aspen Medical last week for suitability assessment, with recommendations provided by Aspen to the Department of Health."
Based in Canberra, Aspen Medical is a "global provider of guaranteed, innovative and tailored healthcare solutions".
Dubbo Hospital's director of emergency medicine Dr Daniel Stewart has been providing "clinical and operational expertise and advice" to GPs in Dubbo and Mudgee on the establishment of clinics for the past couple of weeks.
More than 500 people have been treated at Dubbo Hospital's fever and flu clinic since mid-March.