The special interim arrangements for image-based prescribing, also known as digital-image prescribing, will end on 30 September 2021.
Image-based prescribing was introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and the WA Government Department of Health outlined the interim arrangements regarding the use of digital images for the supply of medicines during telehealth consultations.
After image-based prescribing ends on 30 September 2021, prescribers can still create electronic prescriptions (e-scripts) or paper prescriptions during telehealth or face-to-face consultations. For further information, refer to the fact sheet with a guide for prescribers from the Australian Government Department of Health.
If your general practice team requires assistance with electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), contact Practice Assist, email WAPHA's Digital Health Team or visit HealthPathways WA - Electronic Prescribing (email HealthPathways WA for login details).
The Australian Government has finalised the details of the no fault COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme.
From 6 September, Australians who suffer injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccine will be able to register their intent to claim via the COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme webpage.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme will be backdated to February 2021 and provide an alternative, administrative option to seek compensation, rather than a complex and costly court process.
Read Minister for Health Greg Hunt’s statement here.
The WA Department of Health (WA Health) is moving to Onelink for vaccine distribution and warehouse provision, with Monday 20 September 2021 being the planned ‘go live’ date.
As eligibility for the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout expands and more practices come onboard, WA Primary Health Alliance would like to remind all clinics to update their practice hours under ‘Public Clinic Information’ on CVAS.
If your practice is offering multiple vaccines, please provide opening hours for each vaccine type even if the hours are the same.
Once you have updated your hours please let WA Primary Health Alliance know via firstname.lastname@example.org so that the changes can be reported to the Australian Department of Health and the changes can be made on the Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
As of 23 August 2021, general practices (GPs), Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (CVCs), and Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services (ACCHS) that have the capacity and stock can book patients for a COVID-19 vaccine in line with both State and National eligibility.
Phase 1 populations should still be prioritised including:
On 27 August 2021, the Prime Minister announced that the Australian Government had accepted advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommending that all individuals aged between 12 and 15 years be eligible for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine.
Following the expansion on 30 August for those aged 16 to 39, from 13 September 2021, individuals aged between 12 and 15 years will also be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Recommendations on the use of Spikevax (Moderna) for adolescents aged 12- 15 years will be finalised following the decision on provisional registration of Spikevax (Moderna) in this age.
Pregnant women are prioritised and eligible for a Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccination and should be offered Pfizer (Comirnaty) at any stage of pregnancy.
Pregnant women who contract COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness and their babies also have a higher risk of being born prematurely.
International data has indicated mRNA vaccines – including Pfizer (Comirnaty) – are safe to be given at any stage during pregnancy and are also suitable for people who are breastfeeding.
Pregnant women who received their first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) can receive a second dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) or Pfizer (Comirnaty), although Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred. Pregnant women should speak with their health care provider about the best choice for them. Further information is available in the shared decision making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy
Significant updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Wednesday 1 September. 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 COVID-19 Training Announcement Board. All new changes and updates within the modules for this week are identified by 'NEW' and 'UPDATED' in blue with white, all new changes relating to the Moderna (SPIKEVAX) vaccine are identified by ‘NEW’ in purple and white. All changes from previous updates will be identified as 'NEW' and 'UPDATED' in red and white.
IMPORTANT - AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has had a name update to 'VAXZEVRIA' which is now reflected in all modules.
You can log-in to the training modules here.
The Department of Health has released an online learning module on the use of Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines in Australia (Additional Module 3: Moderna Module)
Please login to access this module which will be available after completing the core modules.
Access the new training module here.
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 National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator (NICC) has undergone minor updates and refinements based on the feedback received from stakeholders. Some of the updates that have been made are related to:
If you identify any issues with the updated NICC, please contact the Handbook Team or email Immunisation Handbook inbox of the Australian Government Department of Health.
The Australian childhood immunisation rates continue to be high, with the 2021 second quarter results showing the coverage rate has remained above the national immunisation target of 95% for all 5-year-olds at 95.2%.
This is the third consecutive quarter the rates have been above the 95% target, in comparison to the rate of 74.4% in 2005 when 5-year-olds’ immunisation rates were first recorded.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at 5 years of age continue to have the highest coverage rate of any group at 97.1%. The coverage rate for 2-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children increased to 92.0%, while the rate for 1-year-olds is 93.4%.
Read more here.
Australia is a world leader in the early detection of and intervention in cancer. However, despite increasing survival rates, cancer remains one of the leading causes of premature death, accounting for around 30% of deaths in Australia.
For healthy individuals who are not experiencing symptoms, cancer screening programs increase the likelihood of detecting abnormalities or cancer in its earlier stages, leading to significantly better outcomes.
Australia has three national screening programs for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, and a National Cancer Screening Register, which supports the cervical and bowel cancer screening programs. These programs target specific age and population groups where evidence demonstrates screening to be most effective.
The Cancer Screening Communications Toolkit (the Toolkit) has been developed by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.
The Toolkit is designed to ensure consistent messages are communicated about the three national cancer screening programs – BreastScreen Australia, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), and the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) to all stakeholders and relevant audiences.
It contains key messages, social content, images and case studies that can be used directly, or adapted and edited for your channels and outlets such as Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) marketing and newsletters. Please use the content on your own platforms and channels to help spread the word about the importance of cancer screening.
The toolkit can be accessed here.
The WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP) is inviting stakeholders to register an activity in support of National Cervical Cancer Awareness week during November 2021.
Activity ideas may include an information stall or display, a morning tea, a presentation about cervical screening or promotion of cervical screening on social media platforms.
To support activities, the WACCPP is offering access to a range of free resources including:
To register your activity, please download the registration form or contact us on (08) 6458 1740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) is a payment to general practices to encourage participation in quality improvement activities in the delivery of best practice care and patient outcomes. This first annual report from the newly established national PIP Eligible Data Set brings together data collated by Primary Health Networks from over 5,700 general practices across 10 Quality Improvement Measures (QIM) that will empower general practices and primary health organisations in improving patient care, and planning for the health needs across Australia.
Please find below links to web recordings of the media and sector briefing webinars convened on 26 August 2021, prior to the report’s release on 27 August 2021.
This educational provides the latest evidence on first-line management with non-pharmacological approaches to managing changed behaviours in people with dementia living in residential aged facilities and the wider community. Guidance on optimal management of changed behaviour with antipsychotics and benzodiazepines will include when to start, when to review, and how to taper and stop these medicines where appropriate.
Information will also be provided on resources and support services for health professionals, people with dementia and their carers.
This topic is available as a Virtual Visit via video call.
To book visit the NPS MedicineWise website here.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, says from 1 September 2021, thousands of Australians living with schizophrenia, liver disease, lymphoma and anaphylaxis will have access to new treatments through new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). For the first time, Australians with schizophrenia will have access to the antipsychotic Reagila(r) (cariprazine). Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition with a wide range of symptoms and affects about 1 in 100 people. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, and symptoms usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood. Generally a long-term illness, schizophrenia cause serious disability if left untreated. It is expect that over 39,500 Australians will benefit from this new treatment option. Without PBS subsidy, Australians might pay more than $1,200 per year for treatment.
Read the full media release here.
The National Eating Disorders Collaboration, NEDC, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, has developed a nationally recognised and freely accessible online training, Eating Disorder Core Skills: eLearning for GPs. This training has been accredited by the RACGP as a CPD Accredited Activity (40 points), ACRRM under the Professional Development Program and GPMHSC as Mental Health CPD.
The four-hour, self-paced and interactive training provides GPs with the key information, tools and resources needed to improve treatment outcomes and best practice care for their patients with eating disorders.
For more information and to access the training à Eating Disorder Core Skills: eLearning for GPs. There is also a flyer to support any promotion of the training available here.
The 9th day of the 9th month recognises the importance of staying alcohol-free throughout the 9 months of pregnancy. Community events throughout the month of September provide opportunities to raise awareness about FASD and the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure, to support pregnant women and families, and to share this prevention message around the world. Read more about the history of International FASD Awareness Day.
Join NOFASD in a FREE Introduction to FASD webinar on Thursday 9 September . For more information and to register click here
These free resources below can be downloaded and printed, or shared electronically, for a FASD Awareness event.
Perth metropolitan general practices are being offered the opportunity by Edith Cowan University (ECU) to have a free education session in their own practice 'Enhanced understanding of specific drugs and comorbid conditions'. ECU will organise an addiction medicine specialist to visit your practice over your lunch hour to provide education on alcohol addiction, including information on the prevention of FASD and parent child attachment from an Aboriginal culturally appropriate framework. They will also provide lunch and submit RACGP points for the GPs too.
Please email email@example.com to register your interest.
The Benchmarque Group have received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver 4 nationally accredited programs Care Planning, Foot Health, Nutrition and Management Tools. The Foundations of Chronic Disease is a free program and the 4 nationally accredited programs are fully-funded which means there is no cost for participating organisations or individuals.
These programs will be delivered under a new Chronic Disease Learning Pathway. The first level of this pathway, Foundations of Chronic Disease, is an online-only program that must be completed prior to registering into the level two programs: Chronic Disease Care Planning, Chronic Conditions and Nutrition, Chronic Conditions of the Foot, and Chronic Disease Management Tools.
For further information on the programs in the Chronic Disease Learning Pathway, and to express your Organisation’s interest, please click here.
This webinar was held on 26 August as part of the 2021 National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) COVID-19 vaccine webinar series.
View the video of this webinar to:
View the webinar here.
The 17th Women’s Health Day 2021 is a cancer education activity for general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses.
The Day is being developed and delivered in collaboration with Cancer Council WA, Sexual Health Quarters, BreastScreen WA, King Edward Memorial Hospital and WA Primary Health Alliance.
Morning tea and lunch will be provided. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the online registration webpage.
Lung cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, however diagnosis usually occurs at late stages limiting patients access to quality treatment.
Lung Foundation Australia is hosting a free one-hour, live panel discussion for health professionals to review the latest evidence and clinical recommendations for investigating symptoms of lung cancer.
For more information or to register, visit the Lung Foundation Australia website.
The Whiplash Associated Disorders seminar, presented by Dr Rob Schütze and Professor Peter O’Sullivan will present an overview of current evidence around the management of WAD and back pain. In particular, it will describe a current clinical trial, funded by the Insurance Commission of WA, for those at high risk of delayed recovery from crash-related neck or back pain.
Further information available here or register here
The Annual Review of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes (ARMED) 2021 is presented by South Metro Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Diabetes WA in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance and HealthPathways WA.
During this free event for general practitioners (GPs) the following topics will be covered:
Morning tea and lunch will be provided. For more information, refer to the event invitation.
To register, submit the online registration form by Monday 4 October.
Registrations are now open!
The Aboriginal Health Conference, hosted by Rural Health West will celebrate culture, strengths and successes in Aboriginal health – a time to reflect on past achievements and how we can address the challenges. The conference will provide a space to rejoice and reconnect with colleagues after a challenging year in terms of environmental impacts and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aboriginal Health Conference is open to:
Please visit the website for further information.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Flinders University Transition Support Project will be delivering a number of information sessions about NDIS eligibility to GPs and health staff in regional WA. Sessions are currently planned for the coming months in Broome, Kununurra, Geraldton, Northam and Bunbury (COVID permitting) and dial in options will be available.
To register your interest, please email Community.Engagement.WestCentral@ndis.gov.au.
An online education module worth 3 CPD points is also available about the NDIS and how to support patients seeking access to funded disability supports. This is suitable for general practitioners, practice nurses and allied health professionals. It was developed by Wellmark, an accredited RACGP education provider, in partnership with a GP advisory team and funded by the NDIA.
The health effects of climate change
Presented by RACGP
Thursday 30 September
Advance care planning workshops: Residential Aged Care
Presented by Cancer Council WA & PaSCE
Wednesday 8 September