Murray PHN eNews#70 | Regional health system change


Edition 70  | Regional health system change

Regional health system  change

Murray  PHN has  completed an extensive and detailed examination of national and local population health data that has identified chronic disease as the biggest health challenge to communities in our catchment.

Diabetes and its complications, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease all impact heavily across our region, causing ill health and potentially avoidable hospital stays for too many individuals.

More than 33,300 adults are affected by diabetes, 13,700 people over the age of 45 affected by chronic lung diseases and more than 8,300 affected by chronic heart failure.

With $25 million available in health funding for 2017/2018, Murray PHN's role is to encourage health system reform that focuses on primary health care services, targeted to this demonstrated need and tailored to local circumstances.

New and innovative models of patient care can help tackle chronic illness at a primary health level and improve health outcomes for those who have these diseases.

We are working with our partners to achieve our goal of delivering improved health outcomes for our communities. Importantly, our partnerships include the input and perspectives of our eight community and clinical regional advisory councils,  to ensure our approaches are in touch with local needs and opportunities.

Click here to learn more.

Matt Jones
Murray PHN CEO


Interdisciplinary Health Networks

Murray PHN is  partnering with the Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) to pilot the establishment of two new professional networks. We are one of eight  PHNs nationally who have partnered with MHPN, and are supporting both pilots.  The networks are:

  • Interdisciplinary Health Practitioners Network (IHPN) - TBC. Once established information will be included in this eNewsletter.
  • Older Australians and Mental Health Network - Goulburn Valley
Goulburn Valley Older Persons Network
When local practitioners  work together,  they can improve referral pathways, build relationships, get peer support and  access professional development opportunities. These combined efforts  work towards  improving outcomes for older Australians experiencing psychological disorders.
Practitioners who are encouraged to join  include GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and other mental health practitioners. Practitioners will meet four times per year.For more information on this Network and to register contact Angela Miller, Project Officer MPHN t: 03 86 626 643 or  
Further information on the IHPN will be provided as it becomes available.

Murray HealthPathways March update

Recently we have welcomed Dr Laura Zagorski and Dr Una Kennedy as  GP Clinical Editors, and Fiona McPhee, HealthPathways Coordinator, who will be working in the North East focusing  on the Alcohol and other Drugs suite of pathways.

The following pathways were localised for health professionals in our catchment during March 2017 - you must be registered and logged into access links. Click here to request access.


Chronic pain

Child health

Assault or abuse

Dermatology and skin cancer

$5  million in telehealth funding for rural areas    eHealth  

The Victorian government has named the 15 successful projects that will share in $5 million  of extra funding for telehealth links to metropolitan specialists for patients living in regional and rural areas. The clinics include:
  • The Royal Women's Hospital will expand access to its menopausal services after cancer program to more women in rural and regional Victoria.
  • The Royal Childrens Hospital statewide access to RCH paediatric sub-speciality services.
  • Rural Northwest Health will work with the Flying Doctor telehealth specialist service to improve access to endocrinology, oncology, cardiology, chronic disease and rheumatology services in north-west Victoria.
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre  will encompass  a range of speciality areas, with initial focus on the Loddon-Mallee region (Bendigo Health and Mildura, with further opportunities to Swan Hill, Kerang, Kyneton).
  • Northeast Health Wangaratta  will provide a single point of contact for patients, relatives, GPs, specialists and health services who wish to organise a specialist clinic appointment by telehealth.
  • Bendigo Health Care Group will link regional GPs and patients to deliver specialist clinics service to patients initially focussing on telehealth  paediatrics, respiratory medicine, endocrinology and genetics.
  • Alfred Health will work in collaboration with Mildura Base Hospital for patients accessing burns, infectious disease, lung transplant, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, dialysis and HIV services.
  • Austin Health will work in collaboration with Bendigo Health and the Murray PHN to upscale Respiratory Support and Spinal Cord Services.
Click here  for more details.

World's largest depression study    mental health  

More than 8,000 bed days were attributed to depressive episodes in the Murray PHN region during (2014-15). Scientists are seeking 20,000 Australians who have been treated for clinical depression to take part in the world's largest genetic investigation.
Volunteers will need to complete a 15-minute online survey and donate a saliva sample that will be screened for hundreds of DNA variants through a process known as 'genome-wide association scans'.
Click here to learn more.

Collaboration key to tackling public health issues    population health  

In December 2016, VicHealth, World Health Organization, the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations, CSIRO and the Melbourne School of Global and Population Health together convened the Destination Wellbeing forum.  The forum's objective was to refine global and local priorities and to prompt a new wave of health promotion research.
VicHealth has  announced up to $500,000 in research funding to foster collaboration between Victorian and international partners to explore the impact of social and environmental issues such as climate change, ageing populations and the exponential growth of technology on our health over the next two decades.
Applications close 28 April.  Click here to learn more.
Diabetes  testing, monitoring and  grant opportunity    chronic disease  
Around 60 per cent  of Type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed with small lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.
Locally, diabetes affects many individuals across our region: an estimated 10,990 in Central Victoria, 4,480 in North West Victoria, 7,620 in Goulburn Valley and 10,230 in North East Victoria.
The Federal Government recently  announced free continuous glucose monitoring devices for young Australians with Type 1 diabetes  to better self-manage their diabetes, reducing visits to emergency departments and missed school days.
Diabetes Victoria is currently running a campaign called 'Check Your Risk': a three-minute online risk test for diabetes Type 2, that has so far been completed by  85,000 people. The organisation is  also offering $25,000 in grant funding as part of the Gwen Scott Grant program  to support  health professionals and students undertaking further education in the field of diabetes.  Applications close 30 June.

Murray PHN CPD

Network meetings
CPD events
Other topics covered in the  Murray PHN CPD Events Calendar include: lung cancer, immunisation, foot health, CPR, x-ray, dementia, nutrition, cervical screening, aural health, practice nurse, suicide prevention, grief and mental health first aid training.  Click here  to see the full calendar.

Murray PHN careers
All position applications addressing the key selection criteria close midnight Sunday 23 April, 2017:

External careers

Regional news

Government and other news


External CPD events, courses and study opportunities

Research, studies, and trials

Surveys and consultations

Grants and funding


My Health Record

Why aren't more people using the My Health Record?

The My Health Record is an online summary of personal health information that patients can share with health providers. As many as  one in five Australians have a My Health Record.

But  recent statistics  show the My Health Record is only being used by a small percentage of consumers, and even then not to its fullest uses. So how can we get a greater return on the estimated A$1.2 billion taxpayer dollars  invested in the system?

1. More health professionals need to add information
2. We need to add more information ourselves
3. More people need to know how to use it
4. The people who need it most need support to use it

Click here to read the full article on The Conversation, published 24 March 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Murray PHN ABN  92 156 423 755You can subscribe to this newsletter via our website by


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