Coast nurse backtracks on home COVID-19 tests
A GOLD Coast cosmetic nurse has removed advertising for $499 home coronavirus tests and vitamin shots amid changing guidelines by medical authorities.
Hannah Cashmore removed all products spruiked by her HC Covid Testing line yesterday after questions from the Bulletin. HC Covid Testing launched an array of COVID-19 packages late last week, ranging from $99 to $499 home rapid tests for two with vitamin shots.
Medical authorities have come down hard on people cashing in on the global pandemic.
Ms Cashmore said she was trying to help "colleagues and take some pressure off the health system". But after recent changes, she removed her products for sale.
The registered nurse had told her online followers that the government-approved OnSite COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test would take "five minutes" and "all tests will be checked by two registered nurses and reported as per QLD Health/Gov guidelines".
However, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has since ruled the tests should only be administered and interpreted by "specifically qualified health care professionals", which did not include registered nurses.
Ms Cashmore told the Bulletin she had removed her products due to the changing TGA guidelines. It's not suggested she has breached any guidelines. "TGA guidelines have changed and will continue to do so, so it's with a very heavy heart, despite working very closely with our medical team, which includes GPs, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, we have decided not to go ahead with our initial screening for the COVID-19.
"As healthcare professionals we wanted to support our colleagues and take some pressure off the health system and help reduce anxiety and stress for the general public, especially those who are still working."
Despite her website stating the "$99 In Clinic Rapid Testing" had sold out, Ms Cashmore claimed that testing had not yet taken place.
"Initially we planned to offer home visits, for people in self-isolation. This is one of the things that changed in the TGA guidelines, which is why this was taken down.
"All tests, PPE and equipment which has already been ordered with my own money will now be given to frontline staff who don't have the equipment they need to protect themselves or patients at this uncertain time."
Gold Coast Primary Health Network (PHN) board chair Dr Roger Halliwell did not wish to comment on Ms Cashmore's company but said he had concerns about other businesses opening up in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Regulations are catching up in regards to coronavirus treatments and tests so there are people operating in that grey zone," he said.
"We worry about whether they may doing something which will be proven unsafe.
"Snake oil people are out there and will jump on the latest bandwagon - right now it is coronavirus. Buyer beware and ask questions, don't get pushed into something until you have really considered it."