The Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre and its partners have developed a rapid access pathway for all patients with suspected lung cancer within the Border East Hume Region.
The rapid access pathway is now well established and functioning efficiently, as demonstrated by the reduced time between referral and treatment being experienced by patients locally. All GPs are encouraged to refer through the rapid access pathway for suspected lung cancer cases. Click here for more details.
One of the components of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program which began on 1 December is the introduction of self-collected samples for HPV testing. The self-collection option has been included in the program to encourage women who are aged 30 years or over and have never had a screening test, or who are overdue for testing by at least two years and in either case have declined a healthcare provider-collected sample, to participate in cervical screening.
However, self-collection can only be implemented when the laboratory and platform testing processes and equipment attain the various accreditation requirements. This process is still underway. Laboratories are not yet accredited to perform the test and therefore the test is not claimable against the MBS.
Healthcare providers who conduct cervical screening tests are advised not to offer self-collection to eligible women until further notice. All other aspects of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program have gone ahead. For more information click here.
Indigenous health check (MBS 715) data tool Indigenous health
All Indigenous people are eligible for an annual Indigenous-specific health check: item 715 on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
A new tool from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows numbers and usage rates of the checks at national, state and territory and Primary Health Network levels. Charts can be customised to show different time periods and, where possible, dis-aggregations by age and sex. To download the tool click here.
Sign up to receive important Victorian health alerts population health
Victoria's Chief Health Officer regularly issues health alerts and advisories about issues that have the potential to affect peoples health and safety. If you aren't currently receiving these important notifications, you can sign up to do so here
Update your practice details on the National Health Services Directory for summer health directory
As we head into a period of practice closures and an increase in visitors to many regions it is a good time for practices to ensure they can be found online. If you haven't registered for the National Health Services Directory, you can do so by visiting their website and completing the registration form.
If you are currently listed on the National Health Services Directory but have expanded your services to include new options, or if you have changed location, you can update your details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Survive the heat this summer emergency preparedness
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting above-average daytime and overnight temperatures in Victoria this summer - we have experienced a number of days with high temperatures already.
Extreme heat and heatwaves can affect anybody. Victoria has experienced two significant heat events in 2009 and 2014 where there were an estimated 374 and 167 excess deaths respectively. Planning and preparing for extreme weather conditions and knowing what to do is critical to ensure the health and wellbeing of Victorians, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. The Department of Health and Human Services has a range of information and resources here.