CEO Primary Matters – 15 July 2020

Reducing Stigma and Transmission

Primary health care continues to play an important role in caring for people who test positive to COVID-19 and who are isolating with health needs that must be met.

In the past couple of weeks, there has been a significant shift in regional and rural Victoria’s relationship with metropolitan Melbourne. As the Victorian capital gradually went into lock-down amid the long forewarned ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, there has been increased anxiety across our region. It is important for all of us to remain compassionate and respectful and remember we are all in this together.

We are also aware that the increase in COVID-19 community transmitted positive case is creating even more fear, uncertainty and anxiety than was experienced during the first lock-down. Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) will continue to ensure our primary care providers receive regular updates and information on COVID-19 and how we can support primary care during this time.

The restrictions in Melbourne and the increasing number of people testing positive to COVID-19 across Victoria means we must remain vigilant and follow the key messages regarding hand hygiene, social distancing, and staying home to stay safe.

See Your GP

WVPHN has for some time been advocating for people to resume seeing their GP if their regular health care routine had been halted by the pandemic.

This week is National Diabetes Week, which raises awareness for the chronic illness that too often goes ignored before being diagnosed. Western Victoria HealthPathways has a wealth of information regarding care and support of patients with diabetes.

WVPHN is working hard to support all primary health care providers to have telehealth capabilities so that the community can still safely be consulted by their GPs.  This also extends to providers who are preparing for the use of electronic prescriptions.

We join with other peak bodies such as  Cancer Council Victoria and RACGP to ensure those living with or are at risk of developing chronic conditions seek and receive the care they need.

We will continue to get the message out there that now is not the time to avoid personal health needs and we hope you can all join us in spreading the word.

 

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer