Murray PHN eNews #69 | Improving the health of our local communities
Edition 69 | Improving the health of our local communities
Catchment Councils first meeting
Last week, Murray PHN hosted the inaugural meeting of our Catchment Clinical and Community Council, which is made up of the Chairs and their delegates of each of the eight regional Clinical and Community Advisory Councils, plus members of the Murray PHN board and executive.
At the meeting, the Catchment Clinical and Community Council were provided opportunity to present on their views and respective council work plans. The Catchment Council produced the following key messages to the Murray PHN Board:
we commend the investment in the Advisory Council structure and the intention and efforts to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council
And we look forward to:
consolidating our regional work plans and council processes
improving communications between meetings
exploring ways for joint regional clinical and community council meetings
being active and adding maximum value to Murray PHN and community outcomes.
Murray PHN's regional Advisory Councils underpin the organisation's commitment to community engagement and regional context in health service delivery.
Pictured: L to R top row: Brett McKinnon, Clare Fountain, Michael Leonhard, Fabian Reid, Greg Gladman, Toni Riley, Matt Jones and Dr Chris Atkins.
L to R bottom row: Dr Ewa Piejko, Sharon Smith, Dr John Buckley, Emma Ghys, Ruth Mulligan and Anne Somerville.
Those members who were present via tele-conference: Dr Robert Campbell and Joanne Kinder.
Apologies: Dr Jan Sheringham, Ric Raftis, Allison McTaggart, Dr Lawrence Tay and Kate Wright.
And we also welcome a new member David McCourt to the North East region.
Closing the Indigenous health Gap
Improved Indigenous health outcomes are one of the key health priorities of PHNs.
Earlier this month, we joined Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Albury Wodonga Health, Gateway Health, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Wodonga Council at a Closing the Gap event in Wodonga.
On the same day, our Indigenous Health Outcomes Coordinator Anna attended the Indigenous Eye Health Conference in Melbourne. During the conference Anna was encouraged to hear how the success of planning and implementing Indigenous programs increases when local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved.
Pictured: Local MP Cathy McGowan concluding the Close the Gap day event by cutting the cake - photo courtesy of The Border Mail.
Local health professionals awarded Seventeen health professionals and one practice were recently recognised for their outstanding commitment and dedication to their Victorian communities. We congratulate all recipients of the 2017 Victorian Rural Health Awards particularly those currently working within our catchment:
Length of service award 35+ years: Dr Michael Spillane Bendigo, Dr Campbell Hunt Echuca, Dr Brian Murphy Mildura and Dr Mark Zagorski Mount Beauty.
Rural doctor award: Dr Maria Rachinskaya and Dr Oleg Rachinsky Donald.
GP locum award: Associate Professor Ralph Audehm Tallangatta to Ouyen.
Medical specialist award: Dr Arup Bhattacharya Shepparton.
Using online tools in suicide prevention (eMHprac) mental health
The prevalence of suicide in the Australian population is not diminishing. During 2014-15 our region had 652 hospitalisations for international self-harm.
Research results suggest that thinking of suicide prevention as a wholly medical problem is not effective. Optimising mental health care and service delivery is only part of the solution. Other important factors known to reduce suicide in communities include improving mental health knowledge and literacy across the community and the early learning of skills and strategies to improve resilience.
Black Dog Institute are hosting a webinar on 5 April for GPs and GP registrars who are interested in achieving better outcomes for their patients with mild to moderate mental health problems. (Media professionals can access Mindframe: who aim to provide advice on structure and responsible reporting and portrayal of suicide and mental illness).
Pap test rebate changes as new screening tests delayed cancer screening
Changes to the cervical screening program planned for May, have been delayed until December 2017. It is important that women due for cervical screening continue to be tested using a cytology-based pap test. In order to maintain reasonable turnaround times during this period of delay, the following changes to pap test rebates have been announced by the Australian Government. The schedule of screening options:
From now until April 30 Medicare rebate for pap smear only. No rebate for ThinPrep ® liquid-based cytology (LBC).
May 1 until November 30 Medicare rebate for either pap smear or ThinPrep ® (LBC).
From December 1 Medicare rebate for HPV test. ThinPrep ® (LBC) will attract a rebate only in special circumstances. No rebate for pap smear.
Vietnamese Australians encouraged to get hep B tested population health
Cancer Council Victoria has launched a new campaign to encourage Vietnamese Australians to get tested for hepatitis B. Many Vietnamese Australians are unaware that they may have hepatitis B and are at risk of developing liver damage or liver cancer. Hepatitis B often shows no symptoms, but if it is not treated it can lead to serious health problems. A free blood test will identify if anyone has the virus.
The Cancer Council Victoria has interpreter resources available in Vietnamese. Click here for more details.
If you work with CALD patients the Department of Social Services has a free interpreting service, delivered by TIS National: find out if you are eligible for the service and/or register here.
Bowel cancer screening now more widely availablecancer screening
Bowel cancer screening participation rates in our catchment are only 43% (2014-15) which is alarming given that an average of 100 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in our catchment.
New ages (54, 58 and 68) have been added to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in a hope to increase screening rates and save lives. At the same time Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging GPs to support patients to complete the test which is simple, easy and painless.
SBS World News Presenter Anton Enus recently shared his experience of being diagnosed with bowel cancer in his 50s. Anton encourages those who are seemingly fit and healthy as he was, to speak with their GP, even if it feels awkward "just do it. It could save your life. I reckon it saved mine".
Giving people with disability more choice and support mental health
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing disability support to Australians living with disability, and their families and carers. The NDIS gives people with disability more choice and ensures they get the support they need.
Recently The First Peoples Disability Network welcomed the NDIS for Indigenous peoples and created a 10-point plan for the implementation of the NDIS in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
The NDIS is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency and will start rolling out across the Loddon region (Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander) from 1 May 2017 and the Ovens Murray region (Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga) from 1 October 2017.
Yooralla have put together some information, including what the NDIS does and doesn't pay for click here to read and click here to read what the difference is between the NDIA and NDIS.
If you are a health professional requiring assistance with certificates or registration with the Healthcare Identifier (HI) service or the My Health Record, call the My Health Record enquiry line for providers on 1800 723 471