September-October 2020

Latest News

Once Good Community grants applications open for Gippsland general practices until 26 October 2020

Gippsland PHN has launched the One Good Community General Practice Program (OGC GP Program)  for general practices throughout the region.

The program includes three elements: the Digital Health Maturity Assessment, OGC GP Program Digital Health Toolbox and the OGC GP Program Grants.

One-off grants of up to $42,500 are available for Gippsland general practices to establish sustainable models of care using digital health technologies with applications closing on 26 October.

By embedding these technologies, general practices will shift in the way they provide care to positively impact on the health and wellbeing of the community, carers and family who care for people living with chronic, complex health and mental health.

The Digital Health Maturity Assessment is a great way for general practices in Gippsland to determine their level of digital maturity to support the planning of digital health improvement activities over time.

The OGC GP Program Digital Health Toolbox includes a range of information and resources available to support general practices to better identify and understand how digital technologies can be used within practices to improve quality, safety, accessibility, transparency, efficiency and patient outcomes.

OGC GP Program recognises that general practice is the cornerstone of healthcare. At a glance:

• People are living longer with 22.4 percent of the Gippsland population over 65 are reported to visit a general practitioner over 10 times per year.

• Preventable hospitalisations and avoidable presentations to emergency departments continue to rise in the last 12 months there were 11,004 preventable hospitalisations.

• Forty per cent of general practitioner consultations related to the management of at least one chronic health problem.

• In Gippsland, the most common chronic conditions likely to result in hospitalisation include; cardiac, respiratory, diabetes and mental health.

• General practitioners reporting mental health as the most common reason for patient visits, 62 percent.

• Across Gippsland, 18.7 percent of adults’ report being socially isolated.

An OGC GP Program digital booklet has been developed as an important resource for general practices that will help guide those interested through the application process. This is available to view on the OGC GP Program website at A reminder that grants close 26 October 2020.

New mental health service will help Gippslanders find the right support, at the right time

Gippsland is being funded for two of the 15 Victorian mental health hubs, initially announced in August by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
The 15 hubs – which are named HeadtoHelp Hubs - all opened on Monday 14 September with nine hubs throughout greater Melbourne and six hubs located in regional Victoria. 

Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said the hub and satellite model for Gippsland recognised the needs of a vast region and had ensured the HeadtoHelp services reached beyond the two hub sites located in Sale and Warragul.

Inglis Medical Centre in Sale is operating HeadtoHelp Wellington and Central Clinic in Warragul the HeadtoHealth Baw Baw.
To ensure services will cover the breadth of the region, Gippsland PHN is currently going through the process to identify the satellite locations and sites.

The HeadtoHelp Hubs and satellites will support people in mental health distress by providing access to multidisciplinary teams of mental health workers, including psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, and alcohol and drug workers.

They will work closely with existing providers including GPs and hospitals, referring people to more intensive mental health care or social supports if needed. 

The hubs will help all Victorians find the right mental health service for their needs and provide onsite support for those who need it, as well as via telehealth.

Following Mr Morrison's initial announcement, Victoria’s six Primary Health Networks, including Gippsland, rapidly mobilised and launched a collaborative effort to get these new mental health services operating as quickly as possible.

Ms Proposch said it had been an extraordinary effort to have all 15 hubs opening across Victoria on Monday 14 September.

“We know there are people suffering or acknowledging mental health issues for the first time,” she said. “A new at-risk group has developed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic and they will need help finding the right support in a mental health system that is hard to navigate.

“That is why this new initiative is so important. Early intervention is a key element to mental health and it’s even more important during COVID19. If people don’t get that help sooner rather than later issues will be compounded.”
Anyone in Gippsland who may be struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives to find the right mental health support can ring 1800 595 212 or go to the HeadtoHelp website at 

New suicide prevention service in Gippsland

A new suicide prevention service to support people during the critical three-month period following a suicide attempt is being set up in Gippsland.

This is a joint initiative by Beyond Blue, Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN), through the Australian Department of Health.

The new Way Back Support Service will be delivered in Gippsland by Wellways, who will work in partnership with LRH. It will be rolled out later this year.

People referred from LRH to The Way Back are assigned a Support Coordinator to guide them through their recovery. Coordinators offer people non-clinical care, such as helping to build a personalised safety plan and linking them to health and community services, and clinical care if needed.

Beyond Blue has designed the program and its Chief Services Officer, Alastair Stott, said The Way Back offered critical support for people after they leave hospital.

“The Way Back addresses a significant gap in the current service system and eases people’s distress by guiding them towards the right support and informing them about how to stay safe,” Mr Stott said.
“Coordinators provide people with practical support for improving their situation so they can find their way back to life.”

Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said her organisation was looking forward to working with Beyond Blue, Wellways and LRH on delivering this unique project in Gippsland.

“The Way Back was initially funded through a partnership between Beyond Blue and Movember,” Ms Proposch said.

“After successful trials in pilot sites, the Commonwealth Government announced an allocation of $37.6 million to roll The Way Back out nationally, with state governments providing matched funding.

“We see The Way Back as an important aftercare service for those in our community who have attempted suicide.”

Read the full media release here.

headspace Sale preparing for face-to-face appointments

headspace Sale will soon open its doors at 453 Raymond Street, Sale, giving young people the opportunity to make an appointment to see a clinician on-site.

The new headspace site is operated by Relationships Australia Victoria with support from contract manager, Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) and a consortium of 11 local service providers. It began delivering online and telephone services on 15 July 2020 and has been enthusiastically received by local young people, community members and educators alike, many of whom had strongly advocated for the establishment of a headspace in Sale.

Manager headspace Sale, Amanda Exley, said in its first few months of service delivery, headspace Sale had already responded to a variety of enquiries about what the service could offer, accepted referrals and was supporting young people in the online environment.

The headspace team is also engaging with local service providers who will support young people as part of the headspace model.

“We’ve been well supported by the Wellington community and our broader Consortium partners,” Ms Exley said. “We’re so pleased to be able to open our physical doors now and to provide young people with even more support options face-to-face in our brand new site, particularly during this challenging time of COVID-19.

“We’re prioritising safety during this time, so to ensure that COVID-19 physical distancing requirements are met, we ask all young people, family and friends, and visitors to call and make a time to visit.”

headspace Sale operates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10am to 6pm and can be contacted by emailing or calling 03 5184 5000.


Six-month contract extension for Gippsland Respiratory Clinics

Pictured above is the relocated Baw Baw Respiratory Clinic. The Respiratory Clinic is now located behind the Central Clinic in Normanby Street, Warragul with the HeadtoHelp Hub in the Specialist Clinic in Sutton Street.

Gippsland’s six Respiratory Clinics will continue operating until 30 March 2021 after the Australian Government’s Department of Health extended their contracts.
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, announced funding of more than $2 billion to extend a range of COVID-19 health measures for a further six months, to 31 March 2021, including the GP-led respiratory clinics.
Last week, Gippsland PHN received confirmation from all six regional Respiratory Clinics that they would accept the contract extension because they see these clinics as an important service to the community.
Gippsland PHN Chief Executive, Amanda Proposch, welcomed the extension, saying the clinics had clearly demonstrated the importance of this service to their local communities.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused extreme anxiety in our community and to know these six clinics provide a safe environment is so important,” Ms Proposch said.
“The clinics provide people who have mild symptoms with a complete respiratory assessment with a doctor or clinic nurse. Patients are tested for COVID-19 and assessed for other respiratory illnesses as well as with test results sent back to a person’s doctor.
“All these clinics have shown their ability to be agile and innovative in terms of meeting the high infection control standards and maintaining a reliable service in an ever-changing pandemic environment.”


You're invited ... 2020 Gippsland PHN Annual General Meeting and Primary Health Awards

Please find attached below, an invitation to the Gippsland PHN Annual General Meeting and Primary Health Awards 2020.

This event will be held on Wednesday 18 November 2020, via our online Zoom platform.
The evening will kick off at 6pm with the AGM, followed by our first ever online Primary Health Awards.

We would love you to attend to support, recognise and honour individuals and teams who work together to bring better health outcomes to our region.

This year’s award categories are:

  • Improved access to health services
  • Innovative support for diverse communities
  • Integration and partnerships
  • Indigenous health
  • Prevention

Please follow the link below to register your attendance or click on the attached invitation.
RSVP by 6 November 2020
Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email together with the Zoom link to join the meeting. Please don’t hesitate to contact Vanessa Santoro should you have any further queries.

Invitation to Gippsland PHN's Annual General Meeting

Resources to prepare for electronic prescribing

Electronic prescriptions initiative is a key priority within the National Digital Health Strategy.

Electronic prescriptions enable the prescribing, dispensing and claiming of medicines, without the need for a paper prescription. It is not mandatory, allowing prescribers and patients to choose either a paper or electronic prescription.

Existing prescribing and dispensing processes will fundamentally remain unchanged and patients will still be able to fill their prescription from their preferred pharmacy.

HealthVitalIT, a collaboration between Infoxchange and South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN), is providing education on the use of technology and has an article on Electronic Prescribing outlining its benefits, models, how it works, requirements for setting up and a registration flow chart.

  1. Factsheets
Electronic Prescribing factsheets for Prescribers and Dispensers are available from the Australian Digital Health Agency.
  1. Electronic Prescribing Policies
The following policies available from the Commonwealth Department of Health guide electronic prescribing:
  1. CPD accredited Electronic Prescribing Online training
  1. Electronic prescribing webinar recordings
View recent Australian Digital Health Agency webinars on Electronic Prescribing at your convenience by clicking on the links below:

New VicHealth funding responds to latest health needs

Local organisations are being invited to apply for up to $2.5m in grants to support the physical and mental health of Victorians, as a new survey shows the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the community.

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) surveyed 2,000 Victorians about their health and mental wellbeing during the first lockdown and found:

· Almost 1 in 4 Victorians didn’t feel socially connected to others, up from 1 in 10 before the pandemic in February 2020

· 1 in 6 were worried about being able to afford to put food on the table, up from 1 in 11 in February 2020

· 2 in 5 were less physically active in the first lockdown than they were in February 2020.

In response to the survey findings, VicHealth is announcing up to $2.5 million in Reimagining Health grants to support Victorians to create meaningful social connections, get active while staying safe from coronavirus, and access healthy, affordable food. 

  The grants of $3K, $10K and $50K will support new or existing ideas and help amplify projects already in place, in order to reach more members of the Victorian community and help them improve their health and wellbeing on the collective path to recovery. 

VicHealth has made it easier to apply and successful applicants will be notified in a short timeframe, so they can get to work fast. Local organisations are encouraged to apply for the grants through the VicHealth website as soon as possible for the opportunity to be funded early. 

For further information or to apply, visit Applications close 11.59pm Tuesday 27 October 2020.

Thunderstorm Asthma Public Health Campaign 2020 

Grass pollen season brings a seasonal increase in asthma and hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). It also brings the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

Thunderstorm asthma can affect those with asthma or seasonal hay fever. Having both asthma and seasonal hay fever and poorly managed asthma increases the risk further.
The best way that those at risk can protect themselves is to have good control of their asthma and hay fever by having an up-to-date asthma action plan or hay fever treatment plan, learning asthma first aid and avoiding storms during the grass pollen season, including the wind gusts that precede them. 
In addition, the National Asthma Council has recently updated the Australian Asthma Handbook with recommendations that offer new alternative treatment options for Victorians with mild asthma. All those with asthma, and particularly those with mild asthma, should see their GP to develop or review their asthma action plan and make sure any associated hay fever is well managed.
More than ever before, this year it is important to manage any hay fever or asthma symptoms, as these conditions can produce symptoms that are similar to coronavirus (COVID-19) such as a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath. While good management can help prevent these, it is critical to get tested for coronavirus if these are different to your usual symptoms.

For details about the new campaign, click here.


New campaign to increase bowel cancer screening rates in Victoria

A new campaign from Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging Victorians aged 50-74, with an emphasis on men aged 50-59, to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The campaign airs across TV, radio and digital channels in Victoria to highlight the importance of finding bowel cancer early through the free at-home screening test. This test spots the early signs of bowel cancer, when successful treatment is more likely.

While bowel screening is important for all people aged 50-74, this campaign is tailored for Victorian men in their 50s. Only 33 per cent of men aged 50-54 and only 38 per cent of men aged 55-59 took part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in 2017-2018.

Bowel cancer is our second biggest cancer killer, taking around 100 Australian lives each week. Yet, if more people completed the at-home bowel screening test every two years, many of these lives could be saved.

For more information on bowel cancer and bowel screening, visit:

National Carers Week 2020 celebrates unpaid carers and all they do

National Carers Week 2020 runs from 11 – 17 October and is a time to recognise and celebrate Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers and all they do.
Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol and other drug issue or who are frail aged – anyone at any time can become a carer.
National Carers Week is an opportunity to raise community awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles. An initiative of Carers Australia, it is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services and coordinated with the assistance and participation of state and territory Carers Associations.
This year, Carers Australia is asking all unpaid carers to Tell Us Why You Care so that it can highlight the realities of caring and help build a carer-friendly Australia. By painting an authentic picture of caring in Australia, it is hoped to raise awareness of the incredible contribution that unpaid carers make to our nation.
Visit for more information on how you can Tell Us Why You Care and get Involved with this year’s campaign.

Forum brings together GPs who treat and support residents in aged care

Gippsland GPs who treat and support residents in aged care are invited to a forum on 13 October titled ‘Statewide COVID response to Residential Aged Care’.

This forum will bring general practitioners from across the state to consider and discuss how to ensure best practice care is maintained in aged care settings during the COVID climate. Topics include the Step-Down Model, repatriation of residents back into facilities, the release of facilities from isolation, PPE expectations and the re-testing of previously COVID positive patients.

Learning outcomes
  • Describe the Step-Down Model 
  • Apply best practice when repatriating residents back into facilities and transitioning into the care of their GPs
  • Discuss when and how a facility become released from isolation
  • Apply PPE Expectations for GPs who work across multiple sites (even if sites are considered low risk or outbreak free)
  • Appropriate re-test residents who have previously tested positive
The forum is on Tuesday 13 October from 7.30-9pm. Follow link for registration:  
Information flyer

Aged care - information on how to use and clean face shields

Consistently and safely wearing PPE is an essential measure to protect your health and the health of older Australians in your care.

The Department of Health has published two new video resources from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Allison McMillian to assist aged care workers who are required to wear face shields.

In the first video, How to don and doff a face shield, Professor McMillian explains how to safely put on and take off a face shield.

In the second video, How to clean a face shield, Professor McMillan explains how to clean and disinfect reusable face shields.

The Commonwealth has published recommended minimum requirements for the use of masks or respirators by health and residential care workers in areas with significant community transmission. These are minimum requirements and aged care providers and workers must also consult the directives of their relevant state health authority.

Aged care workers and providers are also reminded that the Commonwealth has published a quick guide on face shield use during COVID-19.

National Aged Care Emergency Response Program

All aged care workers and providers are reminded of the need to ensure you are consistently following Commonwealth guidance, and state and territory government requirements and directions on PPE use.

Depending on the incidence of COVID-19 in individual jurisdictions and localised areas within jurisdictions, states and territories may implement more stringent requirements on when to use PPE. It is important you remain up to date with the latest Commonwealth guidance and state/territory requirements.

The directions for Victoria are available here Victoria

If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it please submit an online application. The Commonwealth is prioritising requests for PPE from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need.

Residential and in-home aged care services across Australia who are in a priority category can request surgical masks and P2/N95 respirator masks from the National Medical Stockpile. Requests for other PPE, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and prioritised where there is an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.

Providers should also continue to try to source PPE through suppliers and establish an ongoing general PPE supply.

National Palliative Care Strategy - survey

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and the Australian Government Department of Health are working together to deliver the National Palliative Care Strategy 2018.

It prioritises the need for early planning and referral to palliative care for people affected by life-limiting illnesses. To help improve the identification of people who may need end-of-life services, the Commission developed the Palliative Care Predictive or Prognostic Tools (PCAT) Survey in consultation with healthcare workers across Australia.

The PCAT survey is designed for all healthcare workers including those who provide direct treatment and/or care and those who do not, such as managers and administrative staff. The survey was piloted in March 2020, the Commission is now seeking the opinion of all healthcare workers to determine the:

*         Tools used by healthcare workers to identify patients nearing the end of life;

*         Extent to which these tools are used within different settings; and

*         Facilitators and barriers for using the tools.

Have your say now by completing the survey here:

The survey is open until 31 October 2020 and should take no more than five to 10 minutes to complete. The survey link is tagged and the Commission can advise how your network is participating in this important piece of work.

If you have any questions about the survey, contact

 Aged Care specific training modules

Aged care providers are reminded to ensure aged care staff have completed the COVID-19 infection control training.

This training covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19. Additional training modules, specifically designed for aged care workers are also available. These additional modules are relevant for aged care workers in both residential and home care.

If you would like to access the aged care training, users will need to register their workplaces as ‘aged care’. If you have already registered for online training but not with ‘aged care’ as your workplace, email for a priority response.

Fact sheet - managing student illness in schools during coronavirus pandemic

One of the most important things we can do is to stay at home when we are unwell, even when we have the mildest cold or flu-like symptoms. This is especially important for students continuing to attend on-site at mainstream and specialist schools.
A fact sheet has been developed to support schools in sharing information about unwell students with their school community. The fact sheet contains information that will help schools explain to parents and carers that:
  • if a child is unwell, even with the mildest symptoms, they must stay home
  • if a child has any of the below symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, they should be tested
  • a child must stay at home until they are symptom free, even if their coronavirus (COVID-19) test is negative
  • children do not need a medical certificate before returning to school.
For more details, contact the Department of Education Health Team via email 
See the fact sheet here

World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day

World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day on 20 October is a global initiative that raises awareness of the need for better evidence to inform healthcare policy, practice and decision making in order to improve health outcomes globally.
It is an opportunity to participate in a debate about global trends and challenges, but also to celebrate the impact of individuals and organisations worldwide, recognising the work of dedicated researchers, policymakers and health professionals in improving health outcomes.
World EBHC day aims to:

* Educate a broad audience about the importance of evidence-based healthcare and the need for better evidence to inform healthcare policy and practice. 
Be bold in our thinking, encouraging debate and discussion among the global evidence community on advancements in evidence-based healthcare.
Highlight the successes, challenges and experiences of the global evidence community in furthering the science and practice of evidence-based healthcare.
Celebrate the impact of researchers, academics, students, clinicians, consumers, patients and other agents of change who are driving improvements in the quality and outcomes of healthcare globally.
The theme for 2020 is 'Evidence to Impact'. For more information visit:  

Workshops - 'Growing Primary Health Services in Your Organisation'

A series of workshops on ‘Growing Primary Health Services in Your Organisation’ will be presented by Community Owned Primary Health Enterprises (COPHE) directors for allied health, counselling services, health planners, general practice staff and other interested organisations.

The presenters will explain practical ideas about how your organisation could access funding to increase their primary health services and to better integrate with medical practices. 
These workshops will support organisations that want to better understand primary health care through:
  • primary health care service development;
  • how MBS funding can be effectively used;
  • creating a self-funding primary health service;
  • building best practice public/private integrated primary health service models;
  • developing financial models;
  • use of telehealth;
  • the expanding role of Primary Health Networks; 
  • the interface between state and commonwealth, and private and public funding;
  • role of healthcare providers and consumers in integrating care; and utilisation of My Health Record to support continuity of care.
Many public and private healthcare and community service providers are looking for ways to further develop their primary health services into a more comprehensive and integrated range of service types. The opportunities for accessing resources for this expansion is complex and it is rare for organisations to effectively harness all these opportunities and then build the integrated teams necessary to better meet the needs of communities. 

The workshops will be held over two days and aim to assist organisations and funders who wish to better understand the full range of funding options available to them.

Workshop 1 - Wednesday 28 October
Workshop 2 - Wednesday 11 November
Both workshops will run from 1-2.15pm and will be broadcast on the zoom platform. A link will be forwarded prior to workshops.
Register via Eventbrite
Participation in both events is recommended.
See Gippsland PHN Events page for more information.

Be Proud of Your Choices - video series launch

CERSH, 1800 My Options and the SHOUT Working Party have teamed up to develop a sexual health promotion campaign, targeted at young people living in rural/regional Victoria. The Be Proud of Your Choices campaign consists of six, short and snappy clips that deliver positive messages to young people about taking the time to talk about their sexual health and contraception needs.

A social media campaign commenced last week via the 1800 My Options Facebook and Instagram pages. Please follow/like the pages and share the posts over the coming weeks if you can!

All campaign resources, including links to the videos and free downloadable posters, are available at the campaign website.

We encourage all rural workers who engage with young people to get involved in the campaign and spread these positive messages to rural young people.

Melbourne University online Health Economics course

The University of Melbourne is hosting an upcoming online Health Economics short course, which has been designed to assist policymakers, clinicians, researchers, managers and others working in the health sector with an understanding of health economic issues, and how this can aid decision making.  

Practical Methods for Health Economic Evaluation is a three-day advanced course in methods for health economic evaluation. The course covers study design principles, techniques for analysing costs and outcomes, introduction to decision models, Markov modelling and its applications. 

The course from 21-23 October via Zoom will include the following modules: 

• Study design principles
• Techniques for analysing costs 
• Techniques for analysing outcomes 
• Introduction to decision models 
• Markov modelling and applications 

Each module is re-enforced by exercises in Excel, TreeAge Pro and Stata. It is designed for those engaged in undertaking cost-effectiveness analysis and resource allocation decision-making.

Registrations are open and are accessible through the link:

More information on course content can be found through the link: 

Significant discounts available for students and professionals from low-to-middle income countries, via emailing

Welcome to the Research Hub

Gippsland Primary Health Network’s vision is a measurably healthier Gippsland.

This section of our LINK newsletter provides articles on research being undertaken by Gippsland PHN and in collaboration with other organisations that are contributing to this vision. It will also feature research and studies from outside our region which may be of interest to our stakeholders.

For all things ‘research’ related, please email

Survey on osteoporosis in Gippsland
Monash University is inviting Gippsland general practitioners to take part in an anonymous survey on osteoporosis in regional Victoria with the aim to improve bone health for rural and regional Victorians.

Did you know that two in three Australians aged over 50 have reduced bone density; every 3.6 minutes, somebody breaks a hip; and Gippsland has 1.4 higher hip fracture rate than Melbourne.
The research team is seeking input from GPs about how to improve osteoporosis care for regional and rural Victorians including needs and barriers.
An anonymous online questionnaire lasting approximately 20 minutes. If interested, a telephone interview lasting 15-30 minutes at a time will be undertaken, convenient to GPs.
See more details in the flyer below.
Survey flyer
ACN offers range of nursing scholarships

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN), with support from the Australian Government Department of Health, has opened applications for a range of nursing, midwifery and aged care scholarships.
The various scholarships support undergraduate and postgraduate study, from Certificate IV to Masters level. The opportunity is open to ACN members and non-members with all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.
You can find out more about eligible courses, eligibility criteria and the application process for each scholarship by following the links below.

RWAV Country Health Snapshot 2019

Each year RWAV conducts the GP Workforce and Skills Update and Medical Practice Update.

The information gathered in these surveys is essential to the work that RWAV does and is used in many ways. The results help direct resources to where they are needed most and to enable continuity of health services as well as giving a snapshot of country Victorian health professionals.

The information will assist us to identify the critical recruitment, retention, professional development, and support needs of health professionals, as well as contributing to a national Minimum Data Set on the regional and rural general practice workforce in Australia.

Find out more in the snapshot below.

Country Health Snapshot

Assess your health services organisation in National Clinical Trials Governance Framework

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has announced the pilot of the National Clinical Trials Governance Framework (Governance Framework) and will be conducted through to March 2021.
All health service organisations and interested stakeholders can now register with the Commission to access the web-based self-assessment tool and operational metrics tool. These tools will assist health services assess their readiness to meet the requirements of the Governance Framework and monitor their clinical trial service operations.
Guidance on the use and navigation of the web-based tools is available on the Commission’s website.
You can access the Clinical Trials Portal here. It is intended that all the resources, including the web-based self-assessment tool and web-based operational metrics tool, will be available for use beyond the duration of the pilot.
You can provide feedback on the Governance Framework and the supporting tools and resources via the pilot survey.
If you have any questions about the pilot, please email the Clinical Trials team. You can also visit the Commission’s website for more information
Podcast: Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project National Report 
Senior Epidemiologist at The Doherty Institute, Jennifer MacLachlan,  has shared the latest findings on the prevalence of viral hepatitis, the need to increase diagnosis, treatment and care, and how targeted engagement based on the latest regional data can help drive an increase in testing.
Go to for details.

Latest issue of Public Health, Practice and Research journal

In Australia, tobacco control is considered a great success story. We are now witnessing historically low smoking rates, with 11 per cent of Australians reporting daily smoking in 2019 and a further 63 per cent saying they have never smoked.

However, the articles in this issue of the Public Health, Practice and Research journal highlight that there is no room for complacency.

In a perspective piece, authors Paul Grogan and Professor Emily Banks reflect on the urgent need to "re-energise" tobacco control in Australia, with recent evidence suggesting that up to 1.6 million Australians are likely to die prematurely from their smoking.

Other papers in this issue look at ways to further reduce smoking rates, including a proposed national strategy for treating tobacco dependence; maintaining the efficacy of and increasing smoke-free areas; and building on the success of tobacco control efforts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In an interview, Dr Michael Wooldridge, the former federal health minister, reflects on how major reforms to tobacco control were achieved and how the public health community can best engage with policy makers to advocate for reform. 

The issue also includes one non-themed paper – a study examining the resourcing requirements for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care research project.

Summit examines funding of healthcare in Australia

Given the unprecedented demand that COVID19 is placing on Australia’s healthcare system, now more than ever it is important to examine the funding of healthcare in Australia.

The Australian Healthcare Funding Summit on 25 and 26 November will examine the funding of Australia’s healthcare system and facilitate constructive discussion and debate around key issues relating to the reform and sustainable funding of healthcare in Australia to get the best possible outcomes.

Some key issues to be discussed:
  • Lessons from COVID – How and what should the health system learn from 2020?
  • Improving the value of the Australian health care system: Can we get there from here?
  • Efficiency gains in Australian healthcare: Estimates, incentives and population health management priorities
  • Growing out-of-hospital care: Victoria’s learnings from COVID-19
  • Australia’s elective procedure system should be radically different after the pandemic – Putting patient and population interests first
  • Funding a new model of care: Challenges for PHI in the Post-Covid19 World
  • Towards 2025 – IHPA’s future work program under the new NHRA
  • Collaborative Commissioning – A new initiative to accelerate value-based care in NSW
  • New funding approaches for palliative care
  • Quality of aged care service delivery and sector sustainability: An inextricable link for the Australian health system
  • Telehealth-The Future of care
  • Improving the use of data across the healthcare system
  • Moving beyond money: Enhancing value through person- centred health systems
  • The case for equitable access to mental health nurse psychotherapists: Improving access and outcomes across the mental health continuum 
See the full program and/or register here or read the brochure below.
Summit brochure

Invitation to take part in the Healthy Male survey

Healthy Male is developing a strategic plan to guide work from 2021 to 2026. Health Male is inviting people to have their say and inform the future of the organisation.
Please click here to complete the brief survey.
Lifestyle Medicine 2020 virtual conference
Lifestyle Medicine forms an important part of the solution to the current chronic and lifestyle-related disease epidemic.

Bridging the gap between health promotion and clinical practice, it is an evidence-based, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that equips health practitioners to address the behavioural, social and environmental drivers of disease.

It is both a discipline and a movement for change; transforming the management, treatment, and prevention of chronic conditions worldwide.

Using the latest technology, the Lifestyle Medicine 2020 virtual conference from 4-6 December has been strategically designed to incorporate all of the best features from our in-person conferences, along with several additions aimed at supporting online collaboration, engagement and the personal practice of Lifestyle Medicine. 

Participants will gain practical knowledge, tools and processes in chronic disease and lifestyle intervention, participate in interdisciplinary collaboration sessions, immerse yourself in the personal practice of Lifestyle Medicine with the virtual Lifestyle Medicine Wellbeing Hub.
You can also connect with your peers and exhibiting organisations with 1:1 networking, live chats and more.Participants cam also submit abstracts for the conference. Find out more.
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