Have your voice heard
To achieve effective change in primary health care, we need to foster enduring relationships, use knowledge effectively, and look for new and better ways to improve health outcomes.Our advisory councils play an important role in each of these goals, in the areas of community, clinical, indigenous and population health.
We are now seeking applications for advisory council positions for each of our four community and one clinical councils. Community councils will be based in Mildura, Bendigo, Shepparton and Albury, while our clinical council will meet centrally in Bendigo, with virtual attendance options.
NAIDOC Week (8 to15 July) celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is a great opportunity to learn more about these communities. This year's theme is "Because of her, we can" - celebrating the essential role that women have played, and continue to play, as active and significant role models at the community, local, state and national levels.
There are some great free local events happening near you, including:
A reminder that Murray PHN has centralised all tenders for health services through the web-based TenderSearch portal tendersearch.com.au/murrayphn
Currently there are 688 users registered. All health service providers interested in responding to Murray PHN tenders are encouraged to register with TenderSearch.
Registration is free and ensures that you will be notified when relevant tenders are released and receive any updated information during the tender process: only registered users will be able to download tender documents and respond to tender opportunities through TenderSearch.
When registering, ensure you click the 'classification link' appropriate to the types of services you are interested in providing. If you experience any difficulties with this process, contact TenderSearch t: 1800 836 337.
Australia's Digital Health Strategy launched The Australian Digital Health Agency was established in 2016 by the governments of Australia to lead the development and implementation of Australias National Digital Health StrategySafe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia, which was launched on Tuesday 3 July.
The digital health strategy has involved consultation and co-production with patients, consumers and carers Ã¢â‚¬" and the healthcare professionals, industry, organisations and innovators who serve them.
It aims to help deliver improved services including digital baby books for new parents, and coordinated real time care for patients with chronic illnesses. In addition, GPs and other health professionals will no longer need to use fax machines to communicate key clinical reports, as they will transition to safer digital health services, such as the My Health Record.
The digital health strategy has a clear plan for collaboration and action to improve health outcomes for all Australians. All Australian governments, industry, and providers have developed the first Framework for Action under the strategy.
A number of allied health pathways have been released recently, that support other suites of pathways such as our state-wide pediatric pathways. Note that you must be registered and logged in to access the direct pathways links below. Health professionals in our region can get free access here.
Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, has advised there have been two conformed cases of Legionnaire's disease in residents of the Goulburn Valley region in northern Victoria. Both cases report visiting a common area in Kyabram during their acquisition period and have onset of symptoms within a similar timeframe.
GPs in the region are encouraged to be alert for Legionnaire's disease in patients with influenza-like symptoms, particularly those with severe pneumonia, who have been around the Kyabram area since mid-May 2018. For more information click here.
Pilot to improve bowel screening rates for Indigenous people cancer screening
Health services with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients aged between 50 and 74 are invited to take part in a National Pilot of an Alternative Pathway to bowel screening in 2018 and 2019 aimed at making the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) more accessible for Indigenous Australians, to increase participation in screening, and ultimately, to reduce death and disability from bowel cancer.
Extensive consultation has found many barriers to screening can be addressed if patients receive a NBCSP screening kit from a trusted health professional at their local primary health care service, instead of through the usual mail-out model of the program. Health service staff will be able to promote the NBCSP to Indigenous patients, give out kits, and support their patients to complete the test kit.
The National Pilot will run for 12 months and provide resources and training for 50 primary health care services to take part across the country. Click here for more information.
Codeine to be added to SafeScriptreal-time prescription monitoring
Victorian Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, has announced that codeine will now also be included on the list of medications to be monitored by SafeScript, the state's new real-time prescription monitoring system aimed at reducing the growing harm from prescription medicines.
Codeine has been a factor in more overdose deaths in Victoria than any other opioid painkillers over the past eight years. In 2016, 372 Victorians died from an overdose of prescription medicines. For the last five years, more people in Victoria have lost their lives to prescription medicines compared with those who have died on our roads.
SafeScript will become available for use by clinicians in October. The focus will initially be in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network catchment area, before being extended to the rest of Victoria in 2019. Click here for more information.
New MBS rebate structure for non-vocationally recognised GPsMedicare Benefits Schedule
As part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy announced in the 2018-19 budget, the Australian Government is reforming Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item fee arrangements for non-vocationally recognised general practitioners (non-VR GPs).
The changes will ensure that MBS fees payable reflect recognised levels of expertise, reward and incentivise investment in postgraduate specialist qualifications, and encourage more doctors to work in regional, rural and remote areas. General practices and individual practitioners who require more information should contact the Department of Health at Access.Programs@health.gov.au.
My Aged Care updateaged care
The transition of the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) allied health and nursing services pathway to My Aged Care took effect from October 2017.There is still the need to ensure that GPs consistently use My Aged Care to make referrals for CHSP allied health and nursing services.
The alternative practice is for GPs to refer directly to CHSP allied health and nursing service providers. However, this practice undermines the nationally consistent approach to entering aged care services and shifts the responsibility of referring the person to My Aged Care to the service provider, creating duplication and unnecessary delay. Factsheets developed for Victorian health professionals on the transition are available on the Department of Health website.
Clinical placement available in cancer survivorshipcancer
GPs, practice nurses and community based allied health practitioners are invited to enhance their knowledge and confidence in cancer care through clinical placement. Monash Health, St VincentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hospital, Western Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, Austin Health, South West Healthcare and Peter Mac are providing the placements between November 2018-April 2019.
Participants will attend one multidisciplinary meeting, up to three specialist cancer clinics (7-10 hours) and optional face-to-face workshops, across the cancer patient journey. Areas include Breast, Gynae-oncology, Gastrointestinal and Palliative oncology.
Financial support is available to eligible regional participants who have to travel over 200kms to attend placement. Placement is endorsed by APNA, RACGP and ACRRM (40 pts, Cat 1).Click here for further information.
Much like our Advisory Councils, the information we receive from our Health Voices helps us with health service planning. Their feedback helps us to pinpoint blackspots, which are areas where services may not be addressing the health needs of our population and redspots, which are areas that have high numbers of people with chronic disease, such as heart and lung disease. By identifying the health gaps and needs of every community, we can work to address issues and ensure that the health system is as effective, efficient and equitable as possible.
For more details and to register to be a Health Voice in your community click here