Primary Matters – 22 April 2020

Turning the tide

The geographical spread of the population living in communities throughout western Victoria has proven to be enormously beneficial in helping minimise the spread and impact of COVID-19 during this pandemic. Our communities’ adherence to health expert advice from the government regarding social distancing, coupled with the extraordinary efforts and expertise of our health care workforce, have protected our communities against the severe impact of the pandemic that has been evident in other parts of the world.

In the period between 14 April and 22 April, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases only increased by one to 104 across all 21 local government areas (LGAs) in western Victoria. This is a testament to our community’s efforts and the extraordinary primary health care sector that responded so well to the bold measures enforced by our government. Quick, effective and necessary.

However, it is crucial that we all heed the advice of health experts at State and Federal government levels, who are strongly advising that we do not become complacent, and that we remain disciplined, focused and united in seeing the coronavirus out of our region and indeed the state and country.

Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) is committed to delivering accurate and up-to-date information and resources to help our primary health care providers during COVID-19 and beyond. See our COVID-19 Response page for a collection of frequently updated resources and information to support health care professionals to manage COVID-19 effectively and efficiently, and continue to check our COVID-19 Health Alert page for regular updates on the pandemic.

Also, continue to utilise our online mask request form if you are a general practice (including practice in Aboriginal community controlled health organisations) or pharmacy within WVPHN’s catchment area.  WVPHN distribute these mask according to government guidelines as soon as they become available from the national stockpile.

Supporting your business

For WVPHN, supporting primary health care is multi-faceted and goes beyond commissioning and integrating services. As such, we have collated a number of documents that will support general practices and other primary care businesses on our COVID-19 General Practice Resources page.

Recruitment update

As you all are aware, we are currently recruiting for the position of Chief Executive Officer to replace Dr Leanne Beagley.  This process is well underway and the Board have been very happy with the level of interest from a number of high quality candidates from a range of sectors. We expect interviews to be completed by the end of April and an appointment made in early May.


Tony Ficca

Acting CEO