Healthy Communities

We know successful communities are healthy communities. Therefore, Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) in partnership with the primary health care sector is undertaking extensive work in western Victoria to ensure people living across our region can access quality primary health care.

Here’s a snapshot of some of our key programs and activities to help you stay healthy and access the right support and services when you need them.

Staying healthy

The most effective form of health care is preventative health care.

WVPHN and health services in western Victoria are striving to improve our communities’ health but we need your help.

Ways in which you can stay healthy include:

  • Talking with your GP and allied health clinicians about lifestyle and diet changes. A healthy lifestyle and good eating and drinking habits can significantly decrease your chances of contracting chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Ensure you and your children a fully immunised. Most childhood immunisations are part of the National Immunisation Program  and are free of charge. Also talk with your GP about the yearly flu vaccination program
Bowel, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening rates in western Victoria Cancer screening is a highly successful means for preventing and identifying early signs of disease.

There are three national screening programs

All are free of charge.

Other resources

Access to health services

For health services in your community, go to the National Health Services Directory

WVPHN closely works with health practitioners in our region to identify gaps in health services and develop ways by which access to doctors and allied health professionals can be improved.

After Hours Care

If you require after hours care, follow these steps

  • Step 1 – call your local GP or clinic to see if they open. If not, go to step 2.
  • Step 2 – Call the GP helpline on Tel: 1800 022 222 for medical advice and support.
  • Step 3 – If it is an emergency, call 000.

Following options one or two may save you from waiting in a hospital emergency room or having to drive long distances to your nearest hospital during the night, on weekends or public holidays (unless it is required).

Telehealth pilot

New developments in communications and information technology are vastly enhancing access to primary health care across our region, particularly in rural and remote communities.

A number of health service urgent care centres across western Victoria are participating in a telehealth pilot.

Each centre uses My Emergency Dr to provide doctors and nurses in those centres with direct after hours access to specialists.

The pilot programs are in use at the following locations:

  • Maryborough District Health Service
  • Rural Northwest Health
  • Stawell Regional Hospital
  • Hepburn Health Service
  • Great Ocean Road Health – Lorne and Apollo Bay
  • Terang and Mortlake Health Service
  • Ballan District Health and Care
  • East Grampians Health Service

Managing health conditions

My Health Record

My Health Record is your personal online summary of your health information.

Unless you chose to opt-out of having a record created in early 2019, your My Health Record can be accessed via a mygov online account.

Your My Health Record can include:

  • A summary, authored by your treating doctor, of your health status including adverse reactions, medicines, medical history and immunisations
  • An event summary that captures key health information about a significant health care event relevant to your ongoing care.
  • Any hospital discharge summaries.
  • Pathology and diagnostic imaging reports.
  • Specialist letters.
  • Prescriptions and dispensing information.
  • Patient-entered personal health summaries.
  • Health notes you can enter yourself.
  • Advanced care planning documents.

Find out more on how you can access and use this resource via the My Health Record website

Managing prescription medicines

WVPHN has led the introduction of the SafeScript real time prescription monitoring program in Victoria as a means of reducing misuse of high-risk prescription medicines.

Go to our Understanding High Risk Prescription Medicines page to learn more.

Chronic conditions

Many people in our region live with chronic conditions (that’s to say, a health condition or illness that is generally long-term and persistent and may result in a gradual deterioration of health). Therefore, a large part of our work involves partnering with practitioners and health services to improve care for these people.

Coordination of care involving various health professionals is at the forefront of this work. As part of this, chronic conditions model of care programs are available from the following health services:

  • Moyne Health Services
  • South West Healthcare
  • West Wimmera Health Service
  • Edenhope Memorial Hospital
  • Beaufort and Skipton Health Service
  • Maryborough District Health Service
  • Rural Northwest Health
  • Ballan District Health and Care
  • Springs Medical
  • Lorne Community Hospital
  • Heywood Rural Health
  • East Grampians Health Service.

These programs include a patient-centred approach, bringing together a person’s various health practitioners. Quality of care is improved, and patients are empowered to manage their health care.

Last modified: 20 November, 2019