Murray PHN's Report to the Community 2017
Murray PHN's role is to improve health outcomes in our region. Our annual budget is approximately one per cent of the total yearly health expenditure in our region. We understand that within a complex system with finite funds, the real opportunities to improve health outcomes lie within an ability to build partnerships and collaboration.
The increasing burden of disease and escalating costs of servicing our health needs require changes to the way we have deployed and engaged our health system. PHNs have been developed to enable local decision making, according to the variable regional context and capacity.
Murray PHN's Report to the Community 2017, released this week, outlines the work that we have undertaken over the past year and the partnerships we have forged with stakeholders to improve health outcomes across the catchment.
I'd like to thank our executive team and staff for rising to the challenges we have presented them with, and also express my gratitude to our stakeholders for their contribution to our work.
To read our Report to the Community 2017, please click here.
Matt Jones, CEO
VICSERV signs up to stop mental illness stigma
The peak body for mental health services in Victoria, VICSERV, is the 50th organisation to sign Murray PHN's "Stop Mental Illness" Stigma Charter.
The Charter is a series of commitments intended to assist organisations and their staff to tackle mental illness stigma. For many people who live with mental illness, stigma and discrimination are part of their lives, which can make their illness worse.
VICSERV CEO, Angus Clelland, said he was delighted to sign the Charter and congratulated Murray PHN for this important initiative.
"We know that half of all Australians will experience mental illness at some stage of their lives. This is a staggering statistic and a surprise to many who work outside of the mental health sector," Mr Clelland said.
"While much has changed and more and more people are willing to publicly discuss their experiences of mental illness, more needs to be done to address stigma and discrimination. It's therefore very important that employers like VICSERV sign the Charter and publicly affirm they will do everything they can to promote inclusion and acceptance," he said.
For more information about the Charter, and to pledge your organisation's commitment, click here.
Pictured: Lorelle Zemunik, VICSERV senior trainer and peers specialist and Angus Clelland, VICSERV CEO.
November is Lung Health Awareness Month
Anyone can get a lung disease. They affect one in four Australians and are the second leading cause of death.
Lung Foundation Australia's latest research has revealed that more than a third of Australians believe people with lung disease have only themselves to blame, while one in 10 will say sufferers "got what they deserved'.
The stigma attached to this lack of understanding is a major barrier to accessing research, funding, treatment and support, according to the Lung Foundation, and can also cause significant mental health impacts and delays in diagnosis.
To help break down these attitudes and raise awareness during Lung Health Awareness Month, go to Click here for more information.
Farewell Faye Goulburn Valley
This week we say goodbye to Murray PHN Executive Director Faye Hosie who is leaving the organisation to spend more time with her family. We thank Faye for her leadership in the Goulburn Valley office over the past two years and the contribution she's made to improving health outcomes in the region.
Mental health community event grants mental health
The Royal Flying Doctors Service Victoria is providing funding for community groups to run events in their community to address mental health in the areas of: social inclusion, mental health associated disability, alcohol and other drugs, mental health stigma, mental health education, mental health carer support/respite, gender diversity and domestic violence. Click here for more details.
Get ready for the implementation of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act care planning
From 12 March 2018, the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 will provide a framework for medical treatment decision making for people who do not have the capacity to make their own decisions. The Act includes some significant changes for health practitioners and for the community.
The Act will give people greater opportunity to make their own medical treatment decisions that are more in line with contemporary views. A key change is the ability to make decisions for future medical conditions, where previously this could only be done for current conditions. Click here for more information.
Medicare funded BRCA testing for high risk patients cancer
People at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer now qualify for free genetic testing under Medicare. The testing will be provided for free once a specialist or consultant physician assesses the risk and orders testing.
The genetic test had cost patients between $600 and $2000 out-of-pocket in the past. Increased access to the test means more patients with gene mutations are likely to be identified.
Item number 73297 allows testing when a mutation has already been identified in a blood relative. Item number 73296 allows testing in a patient who has had cancer and has at least a 10 per cent or higher chance that a mutation is present, belongs to a specific heritage group, or has a specific type of cancer such as triple negative at or before age 40 or invasive non mucinous ovarian cancer at or before 70. Click here for more information.
Know when anxiety is talking mental health
beyondblue has launched a new national anxiety campaign, Know When Anxiety is Talking, aimed at promoting a better understanding of anxiety as a common mental health condition. It highlights early recognition of the symptoms, and encourages people to take action to manage their anxiety.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. One in four people (one in three women and one in five men) will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. The beyondblue website is packed with resources to learn more about anxiety, complete the Anxiety Checklist and discover how to get support. For more information on the campaign click here.
My Aged Care referral pathway changes aged care
A reminder that the referral pathway for community nursing and allied health services for older people funded through the Commonwealth Home Support Program has changed.
Referrals are now required to be made through the My Aged Care platform unless the client has immediate need for services. This is in line with other Commonwealth Home Support Program services such as home care services, domestic assistance, social support, flexible respite, meals and home maintenance. For more information, click here.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced a partnership with the peak national body representing pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). The partnership will help increase the number of pharmacists using My Health Record, enabling them to share secure health data with other healthcare providers and improve the safety and quality of patient care.
The PSA represents 30,000 pharmacists working in all areas of pharmacy across the country and is ideally placed to develop and deliver education, training, information, and communications for the pharmacy profession.
This partnership will help PSA to increase the number of pharmacists working in all practice settings registered, able to view, and automatically upload medicines information to My Health Record.
PSA will also review, update, and develop professional guidelines for pharmacy practice, and implementation tools for digital health.
My Health Record also provides pharmacists access to clinically relevant information from other healthcare providers including hospital discharge summaries, GP shared health summaries, and consumer-entered information about over-the-counter medications and other supplements.
My Health Record will provide access to verifiable clinical information such as a shared health summary, which is really useful when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sitting down with a patient for a MedsCheck or Home Medication Review. The benefit to patients is safer and more effective care.
Pharmacists will be able to understand what's happened to the patient in hospital, what changes may have been made, and what they need to do to follow up. My Health Record really shines a light on a patient's health status so you can tailor their care.