Health Minister asks residents to consider Rapid Antigen Tests

NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard

Central Coat Newspapers request for information from NSW health Minister Brad Hazzard about wait times for COVID tests on Boxing Day has been referred to the Central Coast Local Health District.

CCN reported on boxing day that hundreds of people, including children and elderly residents, were told to expect a wait time of approximately five hours.

We asked Minister Hazzard to answer questions about whether or not he thought a five-hour wait time for a COVID test at a major regional hospital was acceptable.

In a written statement, the Central Coast Local Health District said: “Central Coast Local Health District operates two COVID-19 testing clinics at Gosford and Wyong hospitals.

“Both clinics were open today and will continue to operate throughout the festive season between 9am and 5pm.

“All other COVID-19 testing clinics in the region are run by private providers.

“Some of these clinics have closed over the holiday period.

“Due to the current demand for testing, both clinics reached capacity today and were unable to test everyone who arrived.

“We understand that wait times may be frustrating for our community but our staff are working hard to get as many people tested as possible.

“Staff checked on those waiting for a test and updated people who would not be able to receive their test at our clinics today.

“Portable toilets were also provided at both testing clinics.

“We thank everyone who has come forward for testing for their patience and understanding.

For information about COVID the community can contact the National Coronavirus Health Information line on 1800 020 080.”

COVID test wait times have dominated the media in recent days and Minister Hazzard has made extensive comments including discouraging people from seeking tests unless absolutely necessary and intimating that every NSW resident should expect to contract COVID-19 at some stage.

Hazzard in his press conference with Premier Perrottet today said “we are all going to get omicron and if we are all going to get omicron is to ensure we are all fully vaccinated”.

“Generally what we are finding is… that Omicron is not as severe in terms of its impact on individuals,” he said.

Hazzard said people were reacting and getting into very long queues to get PCR tests.

“We need to consider why are people getting tested and why are we putting stress on our pathology services,” he said.

He implored the premiers of other states to remove the requirement to have a PCR test before being allowed to enter.

“I have heard also that I am getting it because I am visiting Auntie Mable in three or four days.”

Minister Hazzard said a rapid antigen test was a better option when visiting Auntie Mable.

“I would like everybody to think about whether you really need to call an ambulance…or go to hospital.

“It may not be necessary. If on the other hand you have serious symptoms…of course call an ambulance… but the bulk of people in those queues at the moment…it may well not be the case that you need to do that,” he said.

Hazzard stated that ten days after having your test if you are symptom free you don’t have to wait for anyone to contact you before you leave your home.

“This is a different way of dealing with it,” he said.

Jackie Pearson

2 Comments on "Health Minister asks residents to consider Rapid Antigen Tests"

  1. where can u get a rapid antigen test in the central coast, they are all sold out, once again great planning….not

  2. Brad Hazzard may lightly suggest that we are all going to get Omicron as if it is just a mild disease and we can live with this risk. But the young person on TV news last night described it as like having bronchitis and Dengue fever. Doesn’t sound too mild and not something older people need if they can avoid it.

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