Murray PHN eNews #98 | Bowel cancer screening can help save lives


Edition #98  | Bowel cancer screening can help save lives

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During June, Murray PHN is holding free information and networking events for GPs, medical specialists, community pharmacists,  allied health and mental health professionals.

Hear from industry specialists from The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and learn about My Health Record benefits, security features, patient opt-out and ask questions of the ADHA. RSVP by clicking the location closest to you below:

Note additional events, that will include Mildura, are currently being scheduled.

Statewide specialist clinic service directory

Murray PHN is working with our five Victorian PHN partners, to create  a webpage that lists information on public outpatient or specialist clinics across Victoria.

The webpage will help health professionals when referring patients to public specialists clinics and patients to choose the public hospital outpatient clinic that they are referred to by their local doctor.

We need to hear from community members and primary health practitioners about what you would like to see on this directory. To take part in the survey, click on the appropriate  link below. Surveys close Friday 22 June.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - screening saves lives

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - an initiative of Bowel Cancer Australia to raise awareness of Australia's second deadliest cancer.

Bowel cancer claims the lives of 80 Australians every week - but it is one of the most treatable types of cancer if found early. Screening can detect bowel cancer at its earliest stages, when treatment is about 90 per cent effective.

According to a report released last week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Analysis of bowel cancer outcomes for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - the screening program is effective in reducing the risk of death from the disease.

It investigated the outcomes of 51,800 Australians who were diagnosed with bowel cancer between 2006 and 2016.

About 30 per cent  (15,500) of this group had been invited to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, as part of a target group who turned 50, 55 or 65 years during 2006 to 2010.

Of those diagnosed with bowel cancer, the risk of death by 2015 was 13 per cent higher for people not invited to participate in the program than those who were invited.

You can read the report here.

Mens Health Week is next week (11-17 June). We know that  males are more likely to suffer from lifestyle-related health conditions than females at the same age, but  they are less likely to see their GP.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian men and in 2017, it  was  the third biggest cancer killer. Nationally, our PHN is ranked 19th from 31 PHNs,  for the highest rate of incidence (174 - age-standardised rate per 100,000).

The localised Prostate Cancer Screening Pathway is now live, and we have  begun work on a number of other prostate cancer pathways including: diagnosis, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and follow-up post treatment.

Health professionals in our region who would like to get free access to Murray HealthPathways click here.

Cancer Council Victoria's  Prostate Cancer Optimal Care Pathway is also available free to health professionals. The OCP  has the potential to  significantly improve patients' quality of life during and after treatment, as it focuses on components of quality cancer care. Click here for details.

Melbourne children's GP paediatric update    childrens health  

The inaugural  Melbourne Children's GP Paediatric Update) will be held at The Royal Children's Hospital on Saturday 4 August. This event  is designed specifically for General Practitioners   and will provide practical paediatric education on a range of issues at the forefront of paediatric health and wellbeing.

The  program comprises interactive presentations and workshops from paediatric experts, designed to update GPs on a number of paediatric issues relevant to general practice. For example, there will be updates on immunisation, common allergy problems, respiratory illness and obesity, and an expert panel to discuss child and adolescent mental health.    Register  to secure your place. For enquiries contact

Mental health education for community groups    mental health  

Would your group or organisation benefit from exploring how to respond to the specific mental health needs of people in your community? Wellways is looking for groups interested in hosting a Well Together workshop.

Workshops are suitable for 10-20 participants, are run by a qualified trainer and include a presentation from someone with their own lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery. Well Together is funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency and delivered by Wellways Australia.  Click here  for more information.

Update to cervical cancer screening changes    cancer screening  
Some healthcare providers are using low thresholds to determine whether a participant shows symptoms indicative of cervical cancer. This has led to an over-referral of patients for co-tests and unnecessary follow ups, when just a cervical screening test would have been appropriate.
To  address this issue, a set of more specific symptoms suggestive of cervical cancer has been developed by the National Cervical Screening Program clinical advisors. Click here for more information.Referral service for asthma management      asthma  

For on-going asthma management education and support, you can refer your patients to the free 1800 ASTHMA Helpline service operated by qualified Asthma Foundation staff.Your patient will receive asthma management education according to the Australian Asthma Handbook, a free spacer if required and a free asthma control pack including asthma facts, an action plan template, information on medications and devices and an asthma first aid magnet.

Patients can opt into The COACH Program   for asthma, which is  free health coaching phone service (for up to six months) that aims to help improve asthma control and general health. Doctors can submit a referral through the  Asthma Australia website  or through  electronic medical software referral templates.For more information or to discuss other referral options, contact the 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462) or email

Help address the barriers to accessing quality palliative care for under-served populations    palliative care  
The Australian Government has commissioned a project exploring barriers to palliative care for nine population groups that are under-served or have complex needs. This includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI); people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people with a disability, people experiencing homelessness, veterans, refugees. prisoners and care leavers.

Representatives from palliative care organisations and other health services, or those who support people from these population groups, are invited to complete a survey to share their views.  The survey is open to everyone who works with under-served populations, even if palliative care is not part of your work. You can complete the survey here. For more information click   here.

Health Voices will soon learn  about what we heard about chronic disease in our region and be sent a new survey on diabetes management. The feedback that we gain from the new survey, will help to inform our planning and upcoming investment in diabetes services across the Murray PHN catchment.

Results from the mental health survey that was sent on 24 May, to  those people who  selected their areas of interest as mental health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and/ or children's health, will be analysed next week. If you haven't yet responded but would like to have your say, please do so in the next few days.

To make  sure that your community is being heard, register and encourage  others to join by going to:

Murray PHN CPD
Recorded webinars
The Murray PHN CPD events calendar also includes:  Out-of-home care information sessions;    Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016,  Structural heart disease intervention,  STIs and PrEP: an update for primary care,  COPD Nurse Workshops and Ice training for health and welfare workers  click here.

Murray PHN tenders

  • We have five $50,000 grant opportunities, for four general practices (one in each of our regions: Central Victoria, Goulburn Valley, North East Victoria and North West Victoria) and one Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisation.
    We are wanting new models of integrated care for patients with co-occurring conditions of alcohol and other drugs, substance misuse and mental health developed and trialed from July to December 2018.
    Pre-qualification closes on Thursday 14 June at 4pm and applications close Monday 18 June at 4pm. For more information and to submit a proposal go to TenderSearch.

Murray PHN careers

Regional news

Government news


External CPD events and education

  • Click here  to access a list of  CPD and education events delivered by other organisations  locally and nationally.

Reports and research


  • Deakin Medical Centre in Mildura has a position available for a GP from 5 August 2018. They would also be happy with a GP locum as an alternative for six months. For more information email or phone 03 5022 1488.


Grants and funding


Copyright  © 2018 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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