07 January 2020

People suffering health impacts from bushfire smoke should call their GP: RACGP

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging people to call their GP with health concerns arising from bushfire smoke that are not life threatening.

Smoke from Australia’s bushfire crisis has blanketed cities across Australia, leading to a deterioration in air quality and a spike in health concerns.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said people should turn to their GP in the first instance for non-life threatening health concerns.

“If it’s not life threatening, call your local GP – they are best placed to assess your health concerns, review any current treatment and optimise care in the current conditions.

“We know paramedics have seen a spike in calls from people suffering from respiratory conditions related to bushfire smoke. Emergency lines should only be used when there are genuine emergencies, it’s important that they are not tied up.”

Ambulance Victoria reportedly said there was a 51 per cent increase in people calling for help for breathing problems on Monday, when the air quality in Melbourne deteriorated to “very poor”.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor