Busy fever clinic evicted after complaints of naughty patients
A COVID testing clinic, which conducted nearly a fifth of tests south of Brisbane this week, is being evicted from its premises, whipping up fears local hospitals will be forced to bear the brunt.
The eviction notice sparked fears the imminent closure could put greater pressure on local hospitals, where 19,780 tests have been conducted in state-run facilities since yesterday.
At a peak in the coronavirus pandemic, owners of the private Shailer Park Respiratory Clinic were given a month to pack up and leave after shoppers complained about its patients.
The clinic, based at Cornubia's Riverlakes Shopping Centre, has conducted more than 6500 free tests since March and nearly 1000 so far this week.
Towers Francis real estate agent Michelle Davis served the eviction notice on August 6, telling the clinic to leave by September 6.
The eviction followed a series of emails from on behalf of the landlord WLB Management and Sum-W, complaining about the clinic's patients and refusing to extend the three-month lease.
Ms Davis told clinic owner and director Dr Evans Jones tenants at centre were concerned patients were loitering outside shops and wanted security guards to ensure those tested got into their cars and left the centre immediately.
Shoppers at the centre took to Facebook to complain about tested patients not going directly home and instead picking up coffee at the nearby Zarraffa's drive-through.
Lawyers for the clinic said the landlords were within their rights to evict as the contract was a monthly agreement after the end of the initial three-month fixed term.
Last night, Dr Jones made a last-ditch plea to the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and her deputy Dr Sonya Bennett begging them to step in to keep the clinic open.
He said the lease was due to run out on September 30 but had believed the clinic had the right to extend for a further six months.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Sonya Bennett took up the plight and notified the State Health Emergency Centre.
"I have sent this to the relevant area in Queensland Health, through the State Health Emergency Centre, to consider how QH may support," she said.
"I wish you the best in resolving this important issue."
Dr Evans said without the clinic, which was by appointment only, Redland and Logan Hospitals would be swamped every time there was a COVID cluster outbreak.
"We run an appointment-only system to avoid overcrowding or lines of people waiting and we advise patients to go straight to their car, go straight home after visiting the clinic and self-isolate while they have symptoms and wait to receive their results," Dr Evans said.
"Unfortunately, we have suffered from a small group of very vocal people who have taken a NIMBY approach to the clinic and have placed pressure on the landlord to remove us.
"We have investigated relocation but cannot find a commercial site that is suitable."
Originally published as Busy fever clinic evicted after complaints of naughty patients