For any other urgent COVID-19 related enquiries during the shutdown period please contact Practice Assist via email email@example.com
360 Health Street Doctor is collaborating with Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service to improve the COVID-19 vaccination rate among homeless and vulnerable people in the Perth metropolitan area by providing culturally appropriate mobile vaccination clinics.
The team is providing five mobile vaccination clinics per week in West Perth, Midland and Bassendean, which are open on different days to make it easy for patients to walk in and receive their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.
To help reassure patients and address any concerns around vaccine hesitancy, there are Aboriginal Outreach Workers at each of the vaccination clinics as well as a pharmacist at the Bassendean clinic.
At the Bassendean clinic, Moorditj Djena (Strong Feet) is also providing mobile podiatry and diabetes education for Aboriginal people, while volunteers from the Midland Meals community initiative are serving up nutritious hot food for patients.
This collaborative effort to enhance patient outcomes and improve the COVID-19 vaccination rate in vulnerable populations is delivering positive results. Over the past two months, more than 250 vaccine doses have been administered and over 80 per cent of the patients have been Indigenous.
If you would like further information about the locations and opening times of the mobile vaccination clinics, contact 360 Health Street Doctor by calling (08) 9376 9200 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff from 360 Health Street Doctor and Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service with volunteers from Midland Meals.
WA Primary Health Alliance is delighted to host three Living with COVID Webinars in early 2022 led by dynamic presenter Katrina Otto. The topics are direct results of the information provided in the recent survey and discussions with practice managers.
The webinar series will cover the following topics with each webinar repeated once.
Please see below for finalised dates and registration links.
Tuesday 11 January - register here
Tuesday 18 January - register here
Commencing 23 December 2021 and available until 30 June 2022, a new temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item has been made available to support medical practitioners providing vaccine suitability assessment services to patients who require booster vaccinations.
MBS item 93666 is being implemented to provide an incentive payment of $10 per eligible vaccine suitability assessment service to patients receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccination.
The new temporary MBS item 93666 will be paid in conjunction with COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment Service MBS items for second or subsequent doses, when a patient receives a third dose or booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For further information see the MBS Factsheet here
Patient access to telehealth services will be supported by ongoing MBS arrangements from 1 January 2022.
The ongoing arrangements build on the temporary telehealth items introduced as part of the Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to enable all Medicare eligible Australians to access telehealth (video and phone) services for a range of (out of hospital) consultations that can also be provided in person.
MBS telehealth items will continue to be available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
A factsheet with further information can be found at MBS Online
WA has extended the authorisation under the Public Health Act 2016 that supports the use of a ‘digital image’ of a paper-based prescription as valid for dispensing, until 31 March 2022 (or until the declaration of a public health state of emergency is no longer in place, whichever occurs earlier).
The updated WA authorisation is available here The only change to the WA authorisation is the expiry date.
The Commonwealth has also extended their equivalent instrument and their updated instrument is available here
Factsheets for pharmacists about digital image prescriptions and regulatory advice during COVID-19 have been updated to reflect the extended expiry date.
Healthdirect Australia is pleased to announce the extension of the healthdirect Video Call COVID- 19 GP Program to 30 June 2022.
In collaboration with the RACGP, Healthdirect Australia is offering CPD courses that support GPs and Practice Managers to use Video Call more confidently and effectively. The following free courses are run by Healthdirect’s RACGP Education Activity Representatives:
This module is for GPs new to Video Call and covers the basic functionality of the platform. The course will also suit Practice Managers who may be implementing telehealth into their practice workflows. Register here for essential training
This module covers more advanced use of the platform. The course will also suit Practice Managers and anyone interested in how Video Call can reshape the provision of services to patients or clients. Register here for advanced training
Please contact the healthdirect Video Call team if you have any questions.
Please note: Healthdirect Australia will be closed from COB Friday 24 December 2021 and re-opening Tuesday 4 January 2022.
Following the recent advice and recommendations from ATAGI on children aged 5 to 11 years, the Vaccine Clinic Finder (VCF) has created a separate button to help parents or carers find clinics that are administering the Pfizer (5 to 11 years) vaccine; and an alert notice for consumers that clinics may have different opening hours over the festive season.
From mid-late December, all sites that have placed orders will begin to appear on the VCF to help parents or carers of children 5 to 11 years of age to find clinics administering the vaccine. Initially, clinics will be listed as phone only. Please be patient as significant changes are being made tot he VCF by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Health Direct and booking providers to enable live links.
Services Australia website.
Significant updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Monday 20 December. Module progress and completion have not been affected. Please note that certificates will display the date that the module was originally completed and will not be updated if the module is repeated.
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, and all changes from previous updates will be identified as 'NEW' and 'UPDATED' in red and white.
Booster information: New information regarding booster doses will be identified by ‘NEW’ in orange and white.
Additional New Module: New Module regarding Pfizer (COMIRNATY) (For Age 5 to <12 Years) COVID-19 vaccine now available.
Please see the COVID-19 Training Announcement Board for more details.
Obstetrician and Member of the WA COVID-19 Maternity Clinical Working Group, Dr Michael Gannon, recommends all pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy or breastfeeding, should consider getting vaccinated. Read his opinion on this important subject here
Ashton* (28) is pregnant with her third child due in February 2022. She was initially hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but her GP helped her decide.
Being pregnant I had some hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccine. My main concerns included miscarriage and future health outcomes for the baby (there was a lot of information on social media at the time about how the vaccine could affect the future fertility of the baby).
I see my GP regularly and while she didn’t convince me to receive the vaccine, she did help put my mind at ease by highlighting the risk of negative outcomes for me and the baby if we caught COVID, in comparison to what I might experience with the vaccine.
I did some of my own research on health outcomes but sought out information written by actual health professionals.
I feel good about my decision, especially now we know the WA borders will potentially open up in the coming months.
* WA Primary Health Alliance removed the authors last name at her request.
On December 10, WA Primary Health Alliance sent invitation letters to practices taking part in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program in relation to the paediatric Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine.
If your practice would like to begin administering paediatric Comirnaty (Pfizer) but did not receive an invitation letter, please email email@example.com
The WA State Government has published its safe transition plan.
The Australian Department of Health has created resources to support the vaccination of young people.
Youth community groups can use this resource kit to help young people understand the importance of getting vaccinated.
This fact sheet can help parents talk to their children about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
This resource includes key COVID-19 vaccine information for children, teens and parents/guardians.
This fact sheet can help families keep a record of when COVID-19 booster doses are due.
Try and ask open-ended questions where you will get an answer other than yes or no. This can help the other person work through their thoughts, and it will help you understand what they might be worried about. The most important thing is to replace the misinformation with correct information.
A poster to assist your staff with this conversation can be found here
You may be in the process of discarding 2021 seasonal influenza vaccines, as certain products expire very soon (Vaxigrip Tetra and Fluad Quad).
Please be reminded to report all expired government-funded vaccines via the on-line form, including government influenza products. As products supplied have varying expiry dates, you may need to complete the on-line form for influenza vaccines more than once.
The Cold chain breach and vaccine wastage report form should be used to record cold chain breaches and all other vaccine wastage incidents not due to expiry.
Please ensure staff continue to manage the rotation of vaccine products within your fridge, to ensure the shortest shelf life are used first, to reduce vaccine wastage due to expiry.
For further guidance please visit https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Cold-chain-management.
Thank you for your continued support in managing vaccines at your premises.
Please be advised that there is currently a vaccine supply constraint for MMRV vaccines Priorix Tetra and ProQuad. This constraint is expected to last for the next few months.
There is sufficient vaccine supply for the 18-month cohort only. To maintain adequate supply for the 18-month cohort, all MMRV vaccine orders through the Department of Health will be managed closely with ordering limits in place.
Providers are encouraged to offer separate catch-up doses of MMR and Varicella vaccines for all children older than 18-months.
WA Department of Health will advise when MMRV becomes available again and they thank you for your understanding.
From 1 January 2022, the presentation of Adacel® vaccine will change to pre-filled syringes (previously in vials). This vaccine will be available to order from the WA Department of Health initially in single packs with multi-packs becoming available later in the year. There may be a period where both presentations may be available, while the existing presentation (vials) are exhausted.
Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination protects the mother and their newborn. Vaccination during pregnancy has been shown to be more effective in reducing the risk of pertussis in newborns than post-partum vaccination of parents and grandparents. The optimal time to vaccinate antenatal patients with dTpa is between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.
The WA Department of Health provides free whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women. Visit the Department of Health website for how to order your vaccines.
To assist you with discussing the benefits of pertussis and influenza vaccines during pregnancy with your patients, consumer Vaccination in Pregnancy factsheets can be ordered and these are also available in a digital PDF format on the website here.
WA Primary Health Alliance is currently calling upon registrations for the Alcohol & Other Drug Network – A Project ECHO Initiative.
The Alcohol & Other Drug Network launches in February 2022 , with monthly, 1 hour, evening, online Network sessions scheduled across the year.
This evidence-based project connects local diverse multidisciplinary health professionals to manage the complexities of alcohol and other drugs in primary care settings.
Rural and Metropolitan GPs, GP registrars, Practice nurses, pharmacists, Aboriginal Health Workers, and Allied Health Professionals with an interest in alcohol and other drugs are all encouraged to register.
Each Network session includes a brief didactic presentation by a subject matter expert, followed by a discussion of de-identified case presentations from our session participants, concluding with a summary of care recommendations.
The project is CPD recognised through RACGP and ACRRM. Participants who attend a minimum of five sessions will be awarded 40 RACGP CPD Accredited Activity points at the end of each Peer Group Learning cycle. Fewer session attendance can be Quick Logged for 2 RACGP CPD points per hour of attendance.
Please register here to participate.
For more information, please visit the Alcohol & Other Drug Network project page here.
The RACGP has made 500 places available for the alcohol and other drug (AOD) Treatment Skills Training program.
General Practitioners must apply online here, and require to meet the eligibility criteria and accept the Terms and Conditions. Once accepted, participants have three months to complete the online training modules via gplearning, available immediately.
Applications to apply close on 31 March 2022, or once the spaces have been filled.
Completion of the Treatment Skills Training enables eligibility of 40 CPD points for the 2020-22 triennium.
For more information, please visit the Alcohol and Other Drugs GP Education Program page here.
The National Cancer Screening Register has integrated with Communicare, one of Australia’s leading health software platforms supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations who deal with complex care needs in Indigenous and remote communities.
This integration is designed to provide easier access for healthcare providers using the Communicare platform to better support patient participation in the National Cervical Screening Program and National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participate in bowel and cervical screening at a lower rate than non-Indigenous Australians. They are four times more likely to die from cervical cancer and more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of bowel cancer, which leads to a lower survival rate.
Communicare users can now access and submit patient screening data directly from within a patient record in their desktop clinical software, and are able to:
Practices using Communicare Version 21.3 can find out how to enable this functionality at the Communicare Knowledge Centre.
As of 1 January 2022, more than 12,000 regional, rural and remote doctors will be eligible for the higher bulk billing incentives. The Rural Bulk Billing Incentives will pay higher benefits to regional, rural and remote doctors to bulk bill children and people with a concession card. This makes it more viable for doctors to work in those areas and makes health care more affordable.
The incentives aim to:
The incentives will increase in line with the Modified Monash Model (MMM) and further information is available here
Over the Christmas Holidays, why not take the opportunity to get in early and complete some online CPD activities on the NPS MedicineWise website.
NPS MedicineWise CPD activities are evidence based and approved by RACGP & ACRRM. They include:
Or you can book yourself in for an NPS MedicineWise Educational Visit in the new year.
An NPS MedicineWise Educational Visit is a topic delivered in a 30min discussion either by video call or a visit to your practice.
See the NPS MedicineWise CPD for general practitioners web page for more details.
The Australian Government Department of Health has launched a new My Aged Care face-to-face service offer, delivered by Services Australia. Building on the My Aged Care website and contact centre, senior Australians will now have access to aged care specialist officers to provide in-person support to access and register for aged care services.
Aged care specialist officers will be available in Services Australia service centres and through outreach to rural and regional areas across the country to help with:
Appointments in participating sites can be made by calling Services Australia on 1800 227 475.
For further information, please email MyAgedCare.Capability@health.gov.au
Visit My Aged Care for information about Australian Government aged care services.
APNA has launched its 2021 Workplace Survey, to inform government policy and give primary healthcare nurses a voice coming into the 2022 federal election.
If you’re a nurse working outside of a hospital, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re heard. It is the only national survey of primary health care nurses and their workplace and professional needs. It should take you about 28 minutes to complete.
And don’t forget, by completing the Survey you go into the draw to win a $1000 Red Balloon voucher.
Click here to do the survey
The Australian Government Department of Health recently commissioned the Australian National University (ANU) to conduct a Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)* epidemiological study to investigate the exposure levels and potential health effects of PFAS in areas of known contamination in in New South Wales, Queensland, and Katherine in the Northern Territory, Australia.
The Study team compared the PFAS blood serum levels of, and health outcomes for, people who had lived or worked in towns with known PFAS exposure because of historic use of firefighting foams, with other similar communities that had no or little PFAS contamination.
Whilst the study focuses on three PFAS affected communities, there are other areas affected by PFAS contamination that would also have interest in this study as the overall findings relating to PFAS exposure are expected to be broadly applicable.
Download a copy of the report at https://pfas.anu.edu.au under the ‘Reports’ tab and view the factsheet for GPs here. Email PFAS@Health.gov.au or phone 02 6289 1266 for further information.
This webinar was recorded on 8 December and covered what COVID-19 might look like for WA GPs in 2022 – with lessons learnt in other States and expectations from behind the lines.
The last National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) webinar for 2021 focused on COVID-19 in children and adolescents, with updates on:
Click below to watch the presentations from the panellists:
Presented by Benchmarque Group, the Chronic Disease Care Planning program aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to manage the client with chronic disease by including care planning, identifying risk factors, identifying and supporting behaviour change, engaging the client, applying health interventions and developing effective care plans.
The face to face workshop involves lecture and practical workshop activities around the application of chronic disease care planning in primary health care.
Upon successful completion of the program students should have the ability to:
View the flyer here for more information
Presented by Benchmarque Group, this course in Wound Closure includes an online assessment completed via accessIQ, one-day face-to face workshop and an in-class activities assessed by assessor. Students need to complete the online component before they are able to book into a workshop date.
As part of this one-day course, you will have the opportunity to explore a range of methods and learn the unique benefits and limitations of each wound closure and suturing technique that must be considered in each individual case.
The one-day workshop topics and activities will include:
Chronic Disease Care Planning - Workshop
Presented by Benchmarque Group
Course in Wound Closure
Presented by Benchmarque Group