If your practice is not taking part in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
There is still an opportunity for general practices to join the Commonwealth COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout.
All general practices not currently taking part in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout that would like to join are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your practice is taking part in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and is waiting to be given an allocation of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine there are a number of things to do to get ready:
The Australian Department of Health has issued its latest Provider Bulletin (22 July) for COVID-19 vaccination providers. The Bulletin includes information on groups prioritised for vaccination including residential aged care staff, people aged over 70 and pregnant women.
Pregnant women 16 years and older are eligible and should be prioritised to receive the Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine.
The Commonwealth has advised that the Vaccine Eligibility Checker will be updated to reflect this change.
Providers can take appointments through their preferred booking method.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has more information on this cohort in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.
From 16 July 2021, the Government is implementing longer general practice telephone services to provide an increased Medicare benefit for patients who are located in an area declared as a COVID-19 hotspot by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer or are subject to a public health order that requires the person to be in isolation or quarantine. The list of hotspots declared by the Chief Medical Officer is currently available here.
Two new items numbers 92746 for GP’s and 92747 for other medical practitioners allow for longer telephone consultations for people who are:
For more information see the MBS factsheet.
The updated July 2021 Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) files, including an updated XML file, are available here.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are eligible for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine once they turn 16.
The Commonwealth guidance advises that self-identification as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person (remember to ask the question) is the only proof needed for this cohort.
The Australian Department of Health has a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources available for vaccine providers to use in their clinics.
Patients facing COVID-19 social distancing requirements or other barriers to attending face-to face GP appointments can be provided with easier access to their essential medicines through an electronic prescription.
The Australian Digital Health Agency reports more than 12 million electronic prescriptions have already been issued in Australia and at least 98% of all community pharmacies around the country are dispensing them.
In addition to the standard paper based prescription forms, changes to the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Regulations 2017 allow prescribers to provide electronic prescriptions in one of two ways:
Electronic prescriptions can be sent straight to a patient’s mobile phone or email. Patients can then conveniently on-send to their local pharmacy or consumer medication management app.
Find more information in the ‘Electronic Prescribing HealthPathway, digitalhealth.gov.au or contact the WA Primary Health Alliance Digital Health Team
Updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Friday 23 July. Module progress and completion have not been affected.
You are expected to login and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the announcement forum. All changes within the modules are identified by 'NEW' in red.
You can log-in to the training modules here.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is the main tool for bringing the world out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory vaccination has been debated as a strategy to get high vaccination coverage and protect individuals in certain settings. Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) Group will be presenting a webinar on this topic. This webinar will consider the policy, behavioural, ethical and epidemiological aspects of mandating COVID-19 vaccination.
Date: Monday 26 July 2021
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm WST
In this webinar:
WA Primary Health Alliance has been advised by the Australian Department of Health that the National Medical Stockpile is a strategic reserve and not a general supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Stockpile is only intended to provide PPE where commercial supply is unavailable and there is a demonstrated need or clinical advice for its use.
We appreciate that some providers have been accessing the Stockpile regularly until now.
Due to the widespread commercial availability of PPE supply, as per Government advice, WA Primary Health Alliance will request a declaration from your organisation as proof it has been unable to source a commercial supply.
WA Primary Health Alliance can only provide PPE where commercial supply is unavailable and requests meet the following criteria:
If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining PPE from a commercial supplier, please email WA Primary Health Alliance via email@example.com addressing the above points.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Provider News has published the following articles:
People aged 70- 79 years of age can receive a funded Zostavax® as part of a catch-up program until 31 October 2021. After this date, only 70-year-olds will be eligible for a free Zostavax®.
The National Immunisation Program schedule lists advice regarding the catch up program.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a Clinical Statement on the use of Zostavax vaccine and Shingrix vaccine for prevention of herpes zoster, please click here to read about the recommendations. The Australian Immunisation Handbook is being updated to reflect this information and this advice should be used for clinical guidance in the interim.
Shingrix is registered in Australia but not available on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) at this stage. It will need to be privately prescribed.
Zostavax is available and funded under the NIP for individuals aged 70 years. A catch-up program for individuals aged 71-79 years of age is available until October 2021.
Voluntary assisted dying is now a choice for eligible Western Australians at the end of their life, and general practice is forefront of supporting patients with end of life care.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (the Act) allows GPs, nurse practitioners and other medical practitioners who meet the eligibility requirements, and who have successfully completed the approved training, to participate in the voluntary assisted dying process. The Act also provides protection from criminal liability for eligible medical practitioners who assist patient access to voluntary assisted dying.
The WA Health Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Leadership Team has worked hard during the 18-month implementation period to ensure general practice and other care related sectors are well informed and prepared for implementation. This has involved guiding the development of each of the elements needed to deliver voluntary assisted dying in line with the Act, including:
The Diabetes Health Network’s Integrated Care Working Group and Lived Experience Working Group have collaborated on the development of two new guides that support people to manage their own insulin while in hospital.
The guides support a collaborative partnership between people with diabetes and their hospital care team that focusses on joint decision making and establishing a formal agreement which all parties can follow. They have been developed in consultation with the WA Medical Safety Collaborative and are dedicated to Nancy McKenna and her lifelong advocacy of people’s rights to safely manage their own diabetes in hospital.
Services Australia website for more information on how to register patients for the CTG PBS Co-payment.
The Australian Government Department of Health has also developed factsheets for health professionals or Aboriginal patients.
WA Country Health Service and WA Primary Health Alliance have created an online learning module to help address ageism and shift ageist beliefs.
The 60-minute module will help you identify, understand and challenge ageist beliefs and behaviours as they occur in your home, workplace or community.
After completing the module, you will be able to:
The module is appropriate for all levels of staff working across the continuum of care in health and for any community members.
Visit the Ageism Online Learning Module webpage for further information or click here to start completing the module.
On the 28 July each year, World Hepatitis Day brings the world together to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.
In Australia, the national World Hepatitis Day campaign is coordinated by Hepatitis Australia.
The aim of World Hepatitis Day in Australia is to mobilise national action on the elimination of viral hepatitis in
Australia through a coordinated response.
World Hepatitis Day 2021 in Australia will align with the global theme, which is 'Hep Can't Wait'.
If you would like more information about World Hepatitis Day in Australia please email the Hepatitis Australia office.
Hepatitis Australia is establishing regular network meetings for national organisations who are interested in participating in World Hepatitis Day activity in Australia. For more information about joining the World Hepatitis Day National Network please contact them by sending an email or contacting the hepatitis Australia office on 02 6232 4257
The Treating Alcohol and Drugs in Primary Care (TADPole) program is funded by the WA Primary Health Care Alliance (WAPHA) with the primary aim of increasing the capacity of the WA primary care workforce to provide alcohol and drug treatment and support.
The team at Edith Cowan University of WA drug and alcohol specialists have developed educational resources to enhance the skills of GPs looking after patients with common alcohol and other drug problems, e.g. alcohol dependence, benzodiazepines and methamphetamine use. Please visit the TadPole website for more information.
They would like to offer you the opportunity of having a small group education session in your practice. This is free and qualifies for RACGP CPD points. The facilitator (an addiction specialist or a GP with a special interest in addiction) will give a short presentation about alcohol or other drug topics of interest followed by 30 minutes to talk through case studies or any concerns you have about your patients.
They will supply lunch/snacks and accreditation for 2 RACGP CPD points in the 2020-2022 triennium.
Thursday 29 July 2021, 8pm (AEST)
In partnership with the World Heart Federation, the Heart Foundation will be hosting an interactive clinical webinar on Thursday 29 July to explore the latest evidence around screening and management of high cholesterol for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction.
High cholesterol contributes to over a third of coronary heart disease burden. Despite well-established evidence supporting the benefits of cholesterol lowering for the prevention of CVD, many patients fail to meet their lipid targets.
During the webinar, the global expert panel will explore the practical implementation of emerging evidence as well as tools and resources that can help improve the delivery of preventative CVD assessments in primary care. To register for the webinar, click here and complete the online form.
Mondays, 7pm-8.30pm, from August 2 to October 25 2021
The Diabesity Masterclass 2021 is for general practitioners, practice and community nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists, podiatrists and diabetes educators.
The series is facilitated by Western Sydney Diabetes, Blacktown Metabolic and Weightloss Clinic, Western Sydney LHD/PHN, Hunter New England LHD/PHN, Nepean Blue Mountains LHD/PHN and South West Sydney LHD/PHN.
Register for this free event here and be kept informed with program updates. For enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org