Murray PHN eNews #101: We want you to become a health voice


Edition 101  | We want you to become a Health Voice

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Join  or refer a Health Voice to win
We want you to join our online Health Voices community and answer some simple questions about your experiences of the health system, tohelp  us plan primary health services in the Murray PHN region.You will also go into the draw for one of 18 gift cards valued at $50 each. We were pleased to  congratulate our week one winners, Deanne of Albury and Stacey of Wedderburn,earlier this week.  If you encourage  a friend, family member or colleague to register, you will BOTH get a chance to win. For full terms and conditions and to register click here.  You can also get  a better idea of  the types of information we want to hear by reading what we've already heard here.  

My Health Record â€" Australians to decide on a smarter and safer way to share important healthcare information
From Monday 16 July, Australians are able to decide if they want a My Health Record â€" an online summary of their key health information where they can safely store, access and share important health information.By the end of 2018, a My Health Record will be created for every Australian, unless they choose not to have one. Those who choose not to have a My Health Record, are able to opt out between now and 15 October 2018.   More than 5.9 million Australians already have a My Health Record and 12,860 healthcare organisations are now connected.Australians can manage their privacy and control access to their My Health Record, buy  choosing what information gets uploaded and who has access, such as family members, carers and healthcare providers.  My Health Record  is a personally-controlled system.

To assist healthcare organisations with My Health Record, the  Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has posted 20,000  education kits to selected health organisations recently. In addition, ADHA are holding webinars for allied health professionals next Tuesday 24 July and again on Tuesday 7 August  with the second session targeted towards consulting professions e.g. psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists. Murray PHN is also hosting a  My Health Record event for health professionals in Mildura on Tuesday 14 August.

Family Doctor Week 2018

Family Doctor Week runs from Sunday 22 July to Saturday 28 July and highlights the role of GPs and their value to the community and the health system as they deliver high-quality holistic health care. The theme for this year’s event is "Your family doctor: here for you".

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia has one of the best health systems in the world. These strengths  stem  from general practice and the key role played by GPs. Click here for more information.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey underway

The health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people has been improving over the last two decades. The most recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that smoking rates have decreased from nearly one in two people over the age of 15 in 2002 (49 per cent) to fewer than two in five (39 per cent) in 2014-15. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people drinking alcohol at levels that cause short term and lifetime risk has also decreased.

The next Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey is now underway, with interviewers to visit all states of Australia in urban, regional and remote communities to create a national picture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

The survey, which  runs until March 2019, will collect detailed information about health and health-related actions and is a key dataset for understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.  Results will assist in the administration, evaluation and planning of health and social policies, programs and services, including determining the prevalence of specific long-term illnesses and developing more effective nutrition and physical activity programs. Previous results have been used to revise blood pressure test guidelines and promote quit smoking campaigns.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey also collects a range of information about social well-being and, for the first time, the survey will include voluntary hearing tests. This information will be of importance as poor hearing can have major impacts on a person's health and education.

Initial survey results will be available from late 2019 and will be used by a wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, health researchers, public health advocates, government, clinicians and community health organisations.

A promotional video about the 2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey is available above. Click here to see results from the previous survey.

Sexually Transmitted Infection pathways  
Murray PHN is working with Health and Human Services and our Victorian PHN partners, on behalf of the Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning program, to create state-wide sexually transmitted infection pathways.

The pathways seek to address the Third National Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2014-2017 and work towards reducing the transmission of, and morbidity and mortality caused by STIs, as well as the personal and social impacts. The STI pathways that have been localised to our region, and the state of Victoria include:

Note that you must be registered and logged in to access the direct pathways links above. Health professionals in our region can  get free access here.

Murray PHN's Clinical Editor Dr Una Kennedy (picture below)  has lead the STI pathway development, in conjunction with an infectious diseases specialist, sexual health nurses and a range of support groups. Una is a practicing GP who specialises in women's, sexual and reproductive health and has a post-graduate degree through Family Planning Association of Australia.

Una says that the STI pathways are an online resource that will be used by GPs, doctors in local hospital, nurses, pharmacists and allied health staff.

"The pathways are aimed at providing rapid access to concise, accurate, localised information.

It's not a substitute for a text book but aims to be more of a memory aid to be used in the clinical setting or during consultation."

Victoria leads the nation when it comes to vaccination rates    immunisation

Five-year-olds in Victoria are now better protected against diseases prevented by vaccination than in any other state in Australia, new data shows. According to new figures from the Australian Immunisation Register, 95.7 per cent of children aged five are now fully immunised - the best rate of all Australian states and territories. The data also shows 97.3 per cent of Indigenous children in Victoria aged five years are fully immunised.

The 95 per cent "herd immunity" target is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. High rates of vaccination provide important protection for those who cannot receive vaccines, such as babies who are too young or people who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.Click here for more information.

#YouCanTalk about suicide...and save lives    suicide prevention    

Leading mental health and suicide prevention organisations have launched a new national campaign to give people the confidence and tools to ask direct questions about suicide if they observe signs family or friends are not themselves or appear deeply troubled.

#YouCanTalk is a direct response to a survey of 3000 people in Australia that found many want to do more to prevent suicide in their communities, but don't know how. The campaign aims to mobilise the community and empower friends to act as "eyes and ears" to ensure loved ones get support before reaching crisis point. This includes recognising the signs someone maybe thinking of suicide, how to talk about it openly and honestly and what to do if someone says they are not coping and need support.   Click here to find out more.

Service to support carers to manage breakthrough symptoms  palliative care  

A new national project - caring@home - has been launched to improve the quality of palliative care service delivery across Australia by developing resources that support people to be cared for, and to die at home, if that's their choice.

It is producing resources for community service providers, health care professionals and carers to support carers to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines.

Health care professionals caring for palliative care patients in the community can access the caring@home website   which provides a large amount of supporting information, clinical viewpoints by guest writers, journal articles and other project information.

Hepatitis Awareness Week    blood-borne viruses  

With effective viral hepatitis treatments available to help manage hepatitis B and cure hepatitis C, Australia is leading the way for a future without viral hepatitis, which is the theme of Hepatitis Awareness Week 2018 being held from 23 to 28 July.

An estimated 237,894 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 177,812 with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), at risk of  deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is essential for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test, diagnose and allow early treatment for people living with viral hepatitis to prevent this.


Murray PHN CPD
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For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Murray PHN news

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Research and reports

External CPD events and education

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

Training and courses


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Scholarships and awards

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.
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