CEO Primary Matters – 12 February 2020

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) now called ‘Covid-19’, updates and webinar

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially named the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) ‘Covid-19’, so please be aware it is still indeed the same strain of coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China.

In the past week, Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) has been busy distributing the Commonwealth and state government supplies of protective masks (both surgical and P2/N95) in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Practices needing masks should go to our website for appropriate contact details.  Please note, distribution is based on identified need and this is also explained on our website.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has scheduled a webinar for tomorrow (Thursday 13 February) on practical measures for general practice staff in relation to coronavirus. GPs and practice staff are invited to attend and can register here. The DHHS has also produced a checklist of key actions practices can take for safe assessment of a patient who may have coronavirus infection. Urgent feedback from GPs and primary care providers can be sent to the DHHS via

Furthermore, the Australian Government Department of Health has released a number of fact sheets and documents for health care workers regarding coronavirus available here. Please be aware that these resources may be updated over the coming days and weeks as the situation evolves.

For ongoing alerts and the very latest information, please visit the Covid-19 Health Alert page on our website. Things change quickly and we don’t want to keep inundating you with emails and alerts.

Doctors in Secondary Schools commences at Horsham College

Horsham College is the latest school to join our Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) program, commencing at Horsham today (Wednesday 12 February).

The program is a huge step forward in youth health for the region who will now have better access to GPs. The service at Horsham College is being provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and is part of the Victorian government’s $43.8 million investment into the program.

Important Announcement

As some of you may know, last Friday I announced my resignation as CEO of WVPHN.

I have accepted an appointment as CEO of Mental Health Australia, commencing April.  This role is an opportunity of a lifetime for me, and brings together decades of my experience in the mental health sector as well as providing a platform for influence on a national scale.

I am very confident I leave WVPHN well-placed to move forward, capitalise on the changes now consolidating and make a real difference to the health of the western Victoria community.

My last day will be 9 April 2020 and I hope to catch up with colleagues before I leave, perhaps at the GP Refresher weekend on Saturday 14 March.

Dr Leanne Beagley

Chief Executive Officer

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