CEO Primary Matters – 22 September

Spotlight on infection control

Firstly, thank you to the more than 100 health professionals who came together last night for our information session and panel discussion on infection prevention and control priorities for primary care.

The informative and well-received session covered all elements of infection control with a focus on how the COVID pandemic has elevated the importance of preventative measures. Speakers included Dr Aaron Bloch from Grampians Public Health; Geelong GP Dr Bernard Shiu; Barwon Health’s Paul Simpson; Kathy Smith from WorkSafe Victoria; and COVID Clinical Advisor Western Victoria PHN Dr Kate Graham. Thank you also to Dr Bianca Forrester for chairing the session.

Infection control is a timely issue as we continue working toward minimising risks and transmission of COVID-19. I was particularly interested in hearing from Dr Gerard Ingham from Springs Medical in Daylesford on his first-hand experience of their clinic being a Tier 1 exposure site. It is reassuring to see how open our GPs and others in primary care are to sharing experiences and passing on lessons learnt. This collaborative approach is a big positive for our sector and the communities we look after.

Western Victoria leading the way

In another important development, this week western Victoria passed a key milestone. More than half of everyone in our region aged 16 and over have now received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine. And more than 80% have had a least one dose.

The figures reflect the commitment and determination of western Victoria’s communities and heath care professionals to beat the current pandemic. The western Victoria vaccination rates remain significantly higher than those for the rest of Australia. Let’s keep this going so we can ensure restrictions are lifted and we can again enjoy face-to-face time with family and friends.

Dementia Action Week

With an estimated 472,000 Australians living with dementia and 1.6 million people involved in their care, Dementia Action Week (20 to 26 September) will focus on raising awareness of the discrimination experienced by people living with dementia and their carers. Under the theme A little support makes a big difference, Dementia Australia is calling on health professionals to help eliminate this discrimination. Find out how you can help via the Dementia Action Week website

Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer