RACGP to charge educational providers more for your CPD

Jane Opie resized

Western Victoria PHN recently communicated concerns to the CEO of the RACGP, Dr Zena Burgess, PhD, regarding new fees the RACGP will levy on providers of education that attracts CPD points for GPs.

A new administration fee will be levied for each and every GP attendance uploaded. This decision was made without any consultation with education providers or GPs themselves.

The fees will be as follows: $2 admin/$4 late fee per GP, per event over the 2017 – 2019 triennium. This will mean an additional cost for Western Victoria PHN between $10,200 and $20,400 based on 1,700 GPs attending events per year over the next triennium.

This estimate is based on the 1700 GP attendances hosted by Western Victoria PHN over the last 12 months; this number puts us into the top 5% of educational providers for GPs - as 95% of providers have less than 1000 GP attendees annually.

I also voiced my concern about the significant cost to GPs of the QI&CPD programme itself; GPs have expressed to me their concern that the only value of this programme to them is the need to have their CPD points collected and tallied to comply with AHPRA requirements.

For those who are interested, please see the letter I sent to the RACGP and the disappointing reply received by Dr Burgess which failed to address many of my points.

I will follow up further with the RACGP and I would encourage GPs to be in contact with the RACGP to voice your concerns if you feel this is an important issue.

This change will also impact on other not-for-profit providers of education such as hospitals; the GP Liaison Officer Network in Victoria has been active in advocating against this change also. Frustratingly we are told that the decision has been made by RACGP Executive and Board and is final.

On a more pleasant note, I take this opportunity to wish all an enjoyable festive season and hope that the red tape you find yourself wrapped up with in the modern world of medicine is not too sticky or tight; I wish I could recycle it to wrap Christmas gifts as there seems to be so much of it.

As always, please feel free to email me about issues affecting your experience of general practice. 

Dr Jane Opie, Medical Advisor, Western Victoria PHN 

General

Rural Allied Health Service Consultations
New Psychological Therapy Services
Chief Health Officer Alert
Apply now to become a member of the Victorian Clinical Council
Appointments to the Victorian Agency for Health Information
Rural General Practice Grants Program
Incentives for GPs to support injured workers
HPOS - changes to access
Ankle and knee injuries: your imaging choices
Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) Networking Breakfasts
Best practice in chronic pain medication management day conference
Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program
Women's Health Workshop
Save the date: Victorian Allied Health Research Conference 2017

Great South Coast

Congratulations Healthy South West!

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update
Peer support for hepatitis C treatment
Advances in obstetrics and gynaecology in the last 100 years

Wimmera Grampians

Wimmera Cardiac Rehab Telehealth Hub & Spoke model wins National Clinical Prize
Rural Health Forum with Federal Minister for Rural Health

Ballarat Goldfields 

Save the date: Domestic Violence Awareness Training 2017

General 

Rural Allied Health Service Consultations

These will build upon the issues around chronic conditions discussed at our first round of consultations held in September and October.

We believe people who use and work in the primary healthcare system should have a say in how it works. We can’t do this without hearing from you – our GPs, allied health professionals, practice managers, practice nurses and the community.

Please register for your relevant lunchtime session by selecting the relevant location below.

Great South Coast
Heywood - Monday 5 December, 12pm - 1.30pm

Ballarat Goldfields
Maryborough - Tuesday 6 December, 12pm - 1.30pm

Wimmera Grampians
Warracknabeal - Tuesday 6 December, 12pm - 1.30pm
Nhill - Wednesday 7 December, 12pm - 1.30pm 

New Psychological Therapy Services

Commencing Tuesday 1 November, Psychological Therapy Services are available for people that experience mild to moderate mental illness, and those that have attempted, or are at risk of suicide or self-harm. Western Victoria PHN has commissioned a panel of allied mental health professionals to deliver these place-based treatment services, particularly targeted for people that experience barriers to accessing mainstream treatment.

Psychological Therapy Services replace Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS), Kids Connect, Counselling Connect, and Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA) programs. Transition arrangements have been put in place for patients referred under these services, ensuring service continuity. Please note that there are no changes to the Better Access Initiative.

Patients will be able to access Psychological Therapy Services via their GP, paediatrician and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner by referring to a panel of mental health clinicians in their communities via a new single point of entry - Western Victoria PHN’s Referral Point.

Referral Point is a critical component of the new model for the delivery of Psychological Therapy Services and will also be the platform as we commission other mental health services into the future.

Read more

Chief Health Officer Alert

Thunderstorm Asthma update

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Ambulance Victoria and hospital emergency departments saw a significant increase in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms following the thunderstorm event on the evening of 21 November 2016.

Thunderstorms have been linked to epidemics of asthma symptoms, especially during the grass flowering season which is typically October to mid-December.

Review existing asthma management plans for all patients with asthma and review patients who experience symptoms for the first time.

An asthma attack can be life threatening. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000.

Read more

Cutaneous Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer)

Cutaneous Mycobacterium ulcerans (also known as M.ulcerans) and the cause of Buruli ulcer, continues to be a concern in Victoria with most cases linked to exposure to known endemic areas in the Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula.

There has been a steady increase in notifications of M. ulcerans. The infection affects people of all ages.

Consider the possibility of M.ulcerans in patients who present with a painless ulcer or compatible lesion after exposure to an endemic area. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to minimise skin loss.

Mosquito bite from an infected mosquito is considered a probable mode of infection so encourage all patients to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

M.ulcerans is a Group B disease and must be notified to the Department within five days of diagnosis.

Read more

Apply now to become a member of the Victorian Clinical Council

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The Minister for Health has announced that expressions of interest for membership of the newly established Victorian Clinical Council are now open. For details of the announcement please see the media release.

The Victorian Clinical Council is one of the new organisations the Department of Health and Human Services is establishing as part of the Victorian Government’s Better, Safer Care response to Targeting zero, the review of hospital safety and quality assurance in Victoria (October 2016). The Victorian Clinical Council’s purpose is to provide a mechanism for collective leadership from clinicians and consumers to drive improvements in health care quality and health outcomes for all Victorians.

Through the current expression of interest process a minimum of 30 members will be appointed across the following member categories:

  • General practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Allied health practitioners
  • Medical staff
  • Paramedics
  • Public health service / hospital CEO (as defined in the Health Services Act 1988)
  • Private hospital CEOs

You are eligible to apply if you currently work in Victoria in one of these disciplines or areas in either the public or private sector.

You can apply to become a member through the ‘Vacancies’ section of the Victorian Government's Get on Board website.

Consumer representatives will be invited to apply to become members of the Victorian Clinical Council through a separate expression of interest process that will open by the end of November. If you would like to register to be notified when the consumer expression of interest opens please email your name and contact details to VCC@dhhs.vic.gov.au or phone the Victorian Clinical Council Secretariat on 9096 2159.

Participating on the Victorian Clinical Council will provide an opportunity to shape health care delivery in Victoria through providing broad strategic advice to the Victorian Government.

Expressions of interest from emerging leaders and people based in regional and rural locations are encouraged.

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 16 December 2016.

For additional information, including the Victorian Clinical Council proposed Terms of Reference, please refer to the Victorian Clinical Council website.

For all enquiries regarding the appointment process, please contact the Victorian Clinical Council Secretariat via VCC@dhhs.vic.gov.au or phone 9096 2159.

Appointments to the Victorian Agency for Health Information

Victoria State Government

The Minister for Health has recently announced the appointment of:

  • Dr Diane Watson to lead the Victorian Agency for Health Information as interim Chief Executive Officer
  • Associate Professor Jill Sewell as inaugural Chair of the Victorian Clinical Council.

Dr Diane Watson brings a wealth of experience in health system monitoring and reporting. Dr Watson was most recently the inaugural Chief Executive of the National Health Performance Authority. Dr Watson will commence her new role on 1 December 2016.

Associate Professor Sewell is a leading paediatrician and is currently Chair of the Australian Medical Council and co-Chair of the Australian Commission for Safety & Quality in Health Care, Clinical Care Standards Advisory Committee.

The announcement of these roles is an important milestone in bringing us closer to achieving our vision for strengthening the quality and safety of health services in Victoria. 

Rural General Practice Grants Program

Department of Health

Department of Health invites Expression of Interest (EOI) from existing general practices located in Modified Monash Model Classifications 2-7. The grants program will deliver improved rural health services through additional infrastructure, increasing levels of teaching and training opportunities for health practitioners and more opportunities to deliver healthy living education in rural communities. Grants of up to $300,000 are available based on an equal financial commitment from the general practice. EOI's close on Tuesday 13 December 2016.

Read more

Incentives for GPs to support injured workers

 Worksafe Victoria TAC

In May 2016 WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe) and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) introduced new activities that GPs can undertake to support injured workers and TAC clients to return to work.

GPs can now claim reimbursement for phone calls to employers, worksite visits and experience more flexibility in conducting and billing return to work case conferences.

Please note: From 1 January 2017, invoices using the original item code RTWCC will not be paid. To ensure prompt payment for case conferences, please use the new item codes.

Please see links below for fee schedules detailing services available, payment rates and item codes:

HPOS - changes to access

Department of Human Services medicare

From 1 January 2017, new security updates to internet browsing software will impact the use of Medicare Individual Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates to access Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

Prior to 30 November 2016, individuals will need to create a PRODA account to maintain access.  If you have previously created a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account for HPOS you do not need to create another one.  PRODA is replacing individual Medicare Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates.  PRODA is not a replacement for PKI site certificates.

PRODA already supports the new security updates and is a digital and portable platform that requires no additional hardware or software. To find out how to set-up a PRODA account, see this Guide.

Once you have established your PRODA account it is important to follow this next step if you participate in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP).  Practices are required to update their new PRODA RA (reference) number with the department by contracting the Incentives Program.

Ankle and knee injuries: your imaging choices

NPS MedicineWise

Anna McIntyre, the Clinical Services Specialist for NPS Medicinewise will be presenting on her new topic – Ankle and knee injuries: your imaging choices from November 2016 to April 2017.

NPS has a strong history of supporting general practices to stay informed with the latest evidence about medicines and medical tests. GPs are eligible for RACGP QI & CPD points.

To make an appointment practices need to complete this form and email it to Kerri Abbott at Western Victoria PHN or phone Kerri on 5381 1756.

Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) Networking Breakfasts

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Your AAPM Victorian committee host has updates and information to share! People new to practice management or wanting to find out what AAPM can offer are welcome.

Geelong
Date: Thursday 1 December
Time: 8am - 9am
Venue: James Street Bakery, James St
Host: Clancey McKenzie, 0412 071 221
Register

Ballarat
Date: Friday 2 December
Time: 8am - 9am
Venue: The Turret Cafe, Sturt St
Host: Jo Werda, 0437 617 444
Register

Warrnambool
Date: Wednesday 7 December
Time: 8am - 9am
Venue: Cafe Lava, 235 Lava St
Host: Michael Rogers, 0408 021 204
Register 

Best practice in chronic pain medication management day conference

Monash University

The aim of this conference is to understand how analgesics are currently being used in older Australians with chronic pain and begin working towards developing a targeted and prioritised research agenda to address knowledge and research gaps. 

Date: Friday 2 December
Time: 8.45am - 4.30pm
Venue: Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct Lecture Theatre, 75 Commercial Rd, Melbourne

Register

Victorian Pharmacy Pharmacotherapy Training Program

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

This training program provides pharmacists and pharmacy support staff with the relevant knowledge, skills and tools required to deliver a safe and consumer focused Opioid Replacement Therapy service. The training will help to ensure the consistency and quality of services offered throughout Victoria. Sponsored by the Victorian State Government Department of Health, the program, delivered in two parts for all Victorian pharmacists and pharmacy staff, is free of charge.

Part 1 covers all technical, professional and legal requirements of harm minimisation and ORT. Upon successful completion, participants will be awarded a Victorian Pharmacotherapy Certificate I.

Date: Tuesday 6 December
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Venue: 381 Royal Parade, Parkville

Register

Women's Health Workshop

HEAL logo

An interactive practical workshop working with simulated patients to allow participants to practice their learning in a safe environment.

Date: Wednesday 7 December
Venue: Melbourne

Read more

Save the date: Victorian Allied Health Research Conference 2017

VictorianGovernment logo

The Chief Allied Health Advisor, Kathleen Philip extends an invitation to participate in this one day event where keynote speakers will impart the latest developments in allied health research, emphasising the translation of study outcomes into best clinical practice and service development.

Date: Friday 31 March 2017
Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Read more

Great South Coast

Congratulations Healthy South West!

Public Oral health Awards cropped

Jacinta Lenehan (Health Promotion Officer at South West Healthcare) and Lynda Smith (SWPCP Population Health Coordinator) at the Oral Health Awards in Melbourne. Jacinta was individually recognised as a finalist in the community oral health champion category and together with Lynda represented the Healthy South West consortium.

Healthy South West were finalists in the Victorian Public Oral Health Awards announced on Thursday 24 November. The oral health award recognises member agency staff promoting and delivering strategies in Smiles for Miles, Happy Little Smiles and other oral health strategies.

The project represents the collaboration between Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite councils, Lyndoch Living Cooinda, Southwest Healthcare, Terang and Mortlake, Moyne, Cobden District Health service, Timboon District and Beaufort and Skipton health service.

Geelong Otway

HealthPathways update

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New on HealthPathways:

  • Oral lesions
  • Haemochromatosis
  • Palpitations
  • Ear foreign body
  • Abdominal pain in adults
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

To stay up to date on recent, locally agreed guidelines see HealthPathways

Peer support for hepatitis C treatment 

Since PBS listing in March this year, GPs can now prescribe new Direct Action Antivirals for treating hepatitis C in consultation with a specialist for their patients with chronic hepatitis C, who are over 18, treatment naïve and with no cirrhosis.

This is a unique opportunity to eradicate hepatitis C from our community. The Liver Clinic has long waiting lists, so GP involvement is highly desirable.

Understanding the process is key for GP prescribers. Health Pathways has published the clinical pathway for hepatitis C treatment using these new drug regimes, which includes the process of undertaking a remote consultation with Amanda Wade from Barwon Health Liver Clinic.

Dr Mark Davies from Barwon Health Drug and Alcohol Services and Lara Medical Centre can provide further peer support in the Geelong Otway area for GPs wishing to prescribe these treatments. For his contact details please email Tracey Roebuck or Marg Dempsey or phone them on 5222 0811. 

An email based journal club where Q & As can be posted is an alternative peer to peer interaction option. Amanda Wade is happy to participate in such a forum. GPs interested in an email based forum need to supply their email address to Tracey Roebuck.

Advances in obstetrics and gynaecology in the last 100 years

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Barwon Health invites you to this free interdisciplinary masterclass in women's health with guest speaker, Professor Roger Pepperell who is the former Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne and Chairman of the Board of Examiners for the Australian Medical Council.

Date: Friday 9 December
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Venue: Deakin Clinical School Lecture Theatre

To register, email Melinda Baulch at Barwon Health or call her on 4215 2135. If you have any queries, please email Michael Shembrey.

Wimmera Grampians

Wimmera Cardiac Rehab Telehealth Hub & Spoke model wins National Clinical Prize

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Wimmera Health Care Group’s Pam Marshman and Jo Carroll with the award

An innovative approach using telehealth to improve access for rural people to cardiac rehabilitation programs has recently won the Australian Cardiac Health & Rehabilitation Association’s clinical prize at the 26th Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide.

The award was presented to Wimmera Health Care Group’s Pam Marshman, Dietitian and Jo Carroll, Cardiac Nurse who showcased the work on behalf of a dedicated team from Rural Northwest Health (RNH), West Wimmera Health Service (WWHS), Wimmera Primary Care Partnership and Wimmera Health Care Group.

The model uses Telehealth to link staff and clients at RNH Warracknabeal and WWHS Nhill (the ‘spokes’) to the Cardiac Rehabilitation education sessions at Wimmera Health Care Group in Horsham (the ‘Hub’). Clients attend at their local health service to undertake the physical activity sessions of cardiac rehabilitation close to home. They then all link up together via telehealth to the group education sessions at Horsham. The work has seen an increased uptake of cardiac rehabilitation in the Wimmera, patients are saving time and money with reduced travel, technology isn’t a barrier to access and health services can work together to deliver a coordinated best practice program.

The Annual Scientific Meeting took place in Adelaide at the end of August, and attracted a wide range of health professionals including researchers and clinicians from around the world. It is one of the major national forums for the exchange of ideas and discussion of clinical and research issues relating to cardiac rehabilitation and heart disease prevention.

To find out more about the service, please see this flyer.

Rural Health Forum with Federal Minister for Rural Health

Andrew Broad and David Gillespie

Left to right: Andrew Broad MP and Dr David Gillespie MP

The Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad MP invites you to a forum with the Hon. Dr David Gillespie MP, Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

Join Dr Gillespie for a conversation and learn about his vision for health in regional Australia, in his role as the Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

Date: Thursday 15 December
Time: 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: Swan Hill Club - Glencoe Room, 17 McCallum St, Swan Hill

Please RSVP by Monday 11 December via email.  To find out more, see this invitation.

Ballarat Goldfields

Save the date: Domestic Violence Awareness Training 2017

Lifeline

Lifeline Ballarat is pleased to offer Domestic Violence Awareness Training. DV-alert (Domestic Violence Response Training) is Lifeline's free nationally recognised training program that enables health, allied health and frontline workers to confidently:

  • Recognise signs of domestic and family violence
  • Respond with appropriate care
  • Refer people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to appropriate support services

One of the priorities of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children is to ensure that services meet the needs of women and children experiencing violence. DV-alert aims to build the knowledge and capacity of community frontline workers to provide appropriate support to women and children.

Date: Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 March 2017
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: Peart Wing of Uniting Care Church, 103 Lydiard Street, Ballarat, VIC 3350 

Register