CEO Primary Matters – 29 July 2020

Vale Dr Harry Nespolon, RACGP President

On behalf of Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) I pass on condolences to Dr Harry Nespolon’s family and his colleagues at the RACGP. During the past two years as the RACGP president, Dr Nespolon made massive strides in raising the profile of GPs across our health system.

Dr Nespolon’s recent role in RACGP securing $500 million for general practice to use in the fight against coronavirus, including the expansion of telehealth, was a monumental effort for which the primary health care sector is incredibly grateful.

His loss will be felt throughout the primary health care sector.

We Are Here to Support You

My colleagues and I would like to remind all primary health care professionals in western Victoria that we are here to support you in your important day-to-day work.

WVPHN has continued advocating to both the federal and state governments on behalf of primary health care providers throughout this pandemic to address challenges as they arise. To ensure we remain informed of matters of concern, it is important to keep the conversation going, which you can do by contacting to provide your feedback.

We are also available to assist you with MBS items including for telehealth and COVID-19 testing and can help you access business continuity modules. In the first instance you can contact your Practice Facilitator team via for general practice support.

In addition, we offer the following online resources and support:

You may also wish to follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter – look up @westvicphn – where we post updates on Government directives, training opportunities and other resources.

Stay safe and, again, please let us know if there is any other way in which we can help.

Barwon Health Contact Tracing Team

We were delighted in the recent appointment of Barwon Health Infectious Disease Specialist Associate Professor Deb Friedman to lead the COVID-19 contact tracing team across the region.

A/Prof Friedman has been a key panellist for WVPHN’s Project ECHO COVID-19 series, providing participants with a comprehensive update for Infectious Diseases Update for regional Victoria each week, which includes a COVID-19 update, Local Public Health and Infection Control response and current issues. The updates are always of great interest and the feedback we receive speaks volumes of the respect Deb garners.


Rowena Clift

Chief Executive Officer

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