North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1110: April 14, 2011
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
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In this issue:

Editorial                                                Medicare Locals – an update

Aboriginal Health                                Cultural Awareness Training: RACGP online learning module

Chronic Disease Management            Supermarket Tours   

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Immunisation Resources     

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Step Right Podiatry, Discharge Summary – New Format, GP Network News         

News for Practice Staff                       New online education program for practice nurses

NPS                                                       Reminder - New NPS Topic, GP participation needed in UNSW survey

Paediatrics                                           Ear, Nose, Throat and Eyes Practical Paediatrics                

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Medicare Locals – an update

On Tuesday April 5th two Divisions (North East Valley and Northern Division) submitted an application to establish the “Northern Melbourne Medicare Local” (NML). This was one of 13 applications from Victoria to establish 15 Medicare Locals. The boundaries of the NML are yet to be decided. The Commonwealth favours a larger 5 LGA area whilst the Victorian state government proposed two Medicare Locals comprising 1) Hume/Whittlesea and 2) Darebin/Banyule/Nillumbik.

Whilst charged in the initial rounds with establishing a Medicare Local that includes all of the local Primary Care sector, we believe that it is very important that the Divisions continue to advocate strongly on behalf of General Practice and to strongly present the case for their continued (and expanded role) in delivering GP support services and a range of other programs.

While the Medicare Local will build upon the capacities and achievements of Divisions of General Practice and other primary care providers, we also recognise that there are aspects of the role that will require an additional range of skills to be obtained either through recruitment, personnel development, linkages or sub-contracting.

We believe that it is very important that the ability of the Medicare Local to function independently from the two Divisions is established as early as possible. As mentioned above we do not see the Medicare Local as being just about Divisions but of the whole primary care sector in the area. Furthermore, in the proposed model in which the Medicare Local purchases services from many agencies including Divisions, it is critical that any appearance of conflict of interest is avoided.

Our submitted model suggests that wherever possible the Medicare Local will meet the service delivery aspects of its objectives by purchasing or commissioning services from other agencies, this mode of operating is at a different level from the way in which Division’s currently operate and from the way in which other service providers in the region operate.

The Commonwealth has undertaken to provide feedback on the initial applications by mid May. Based on that feedback and in consultation with our local sector partners, we will submit a refined application to be submitted in July. Successful applications in this “second round” will commence the establishment of a “Medicare Local” in January 2012.


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Aboriginal Health

Indigenous PIP: Cultural Awareness Training: RACGP online learning module now available

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released a new, free, online Indigenous health educational activity that aims to support Australian general practice to provide culturally appropriate healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The educational program Introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness in general practice was produced by the RACGP National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing.

The online learning activity will be available free of charge from 8 April 2011 to general practice staff participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive and to other GPs and health professionals through the RACGP Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) program. It is available at for RACGP members. Non-members can access this activity at .

Completion of this module by a minimum of two practice staff at least one of whom must be a GP will meet the requirements for cultural awareness training for the Indigenous PIP.


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Chronic Disease Management

Supermarket Tours 

Diabetes Australia – Vic organises supermarket tours to help make shopping for food easier. As part of the two hour tour, local dietitians show you how to accurately read and understand food labels, select healthy food alternatives and identify products that are appropriate for people with diabetes. Participants will receive a show bag with the Diabetes Australia Healthy Shopping Guide, information sheets and other useful information. A tour is taking place at Coles Epping Plaza, Cnr Cooper and High Streets, Epping on Wednesday 20 April at 10am. Cost: $10 members and $15 for non-members. Limited bookings are available for each tour. To make a booking, contact the Diabetes Info and Advice Line (DIAL) on 1300 136 588.


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Continuing Professional Development

Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Genetic Screening in the 21st Century”- Where are we now and where are we going? Speaker: Prof. Martin Delatycki.

Wednesday 20th April, 12:30pm at John Lindell Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Lance Townsend Building (opp. Medical Library), Austin Campus. Informal lunch at 1.15pm outside the Lecture Theatre.


Sleep - The Basics

Saturday 30th April 9.30am - 5pm at Austin Hospital Education Precinct, Level 4 Austin Tower, Studley Road, Heidelberg. RSVP by Thursday 21st April. Flyer.


Ear, Nose, Throat and Eyes Practical Paediatrics

See under Paediatrics


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Immunisation Resources

The 'Common reactions to vaccines' tear-off pad of 100 sheets and the Rotavirus DL brochure have been updated in relation to the advice about rotavirus vaccine linked with intussusception. The information on the back page of the Common reactions sheet now includes intussusception signs and symptoms.

The Rotavirus DL brochure has also been updated to include the rare link between the rotavirus vaccine and intussusception.

Please replace current stock immediately with the new versions.

Using the immunisation resources will make the discussion easier for you to explain to the parent.

Resources may be ordered on-line from this link.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - More on disappearing medications

You should be aware that if you using “Stat” when filling in the Frequency instructions of a prescription, that medication disappears off the current medication screen once the script is printed and the patient record closed.


This weeks IM problem - Deleting unwanted clinical details from pathology requests

Question: We have a lot of "unwanted" items in the Clinical Details pick list on the pathology request form due to inappropriate checking of the "save text" check box. Is there any simple way of deleting these items?

Answer: Any user generated items can be deleted by highlighting and pressing the Delete key. The items that are supplied with MD (e.g. ?Urti) cannot be deleted.


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Items of Interest

Step Right Podiatry
New podiatry home visit service operating in the NEVDGP region.

Specialising in:-

  • Nail/Callus Reduction and Corn Removal
  • Neurological and Vascular Assessments
  • Biomechanical Assessments and Orthotics
  • Assessment of Children’s Feet

No Gap Fees for EPC/Care Plan Clients; Thorough GP Communication; Timely and Caring Service

Contact Daniel Monteleone on 0438 596 608 or email 


Discharge Summary – New Format

On June 15th Austin Health will commence using a new electronic Patient Record System – the CERNER system. As a consequence, the discharge summary that you receive from this date will have a different format. However the Emergency Department and Day Surgery Discharge Summaries will remain unchanged. 

With the introduction of the CERNER system, Austin Health will be relying on the Human Services Directory (HSD) to access GP details. To ensure that communication is addressed correctly, I would encourage all GPs to check that their details on the HSD are up-to-date. Should you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the GP Liaison Officer, Dr. Wendy Fisher,


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Online claiming of Medicare benefits now available for patients; WMA Symposium; Former AMA President Elected Chair of WMA; Patient Controlled E-Health Record; AMA Victoria “Working overseas in a crisis” seminar; ONEPATH is one of Australia's leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions; Post new comment.


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News for Practice Staff

New online education program for practice nurses

A new online education program for practice nurses was launched by the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) yesterday at the APNA National Conference 2011.

The education program, Diabetes Management in the Primary Care Setting, was funded through an educational grant from MSD with an aim to improve the knowledge and understanding of diabetes management amongst general practice nurses in primary care. The program will also enhance referral pathways, as nurses will gain an understanding of when and how to refer patients onto a diabetes educator.

For more information about diabetes management in the primary care setting or to enrol in the course, please visit APNA Online Learning at


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National Prescribing Service

Reminder - New NPS Topic “Opioid Therapy in Chronic Pain – Use a Planned Approach"

This new NPS topic explores ways of optimising the benefits of opioids in chronic pain while minimising the harms associated with inappropriate use.  Key points for consideration and discussion include careful patient selection, clear communication about the goals of opioid therapy, how to establish an opioid trial, careful advice about proper use and monitoring, as well as strategies for monitoring breakthrough pain.  As with the sleep program, a resources rich kit is provided to participants.
The following opioid resources have been developed for health professionals by the NPS and are available on Medical Director and/or the NPS website: 1/ Pain management plan 2/ Pain Diary for patients & 3/ Patient Information Leaflet: Using opioid medicines for your chronic pain.

To organise an individual visit or case study meeting on this topic, please contact Dr Mary Levidiotis on or call 9496 4333 or use this form. Alternatively contact Mary (as above) to arrange an Introductory NPS Visit.


GP participation needed in UNSW survey
Researchers at UNSW are seeking GPs to complete a brief survey into aberrant/divergent behaviours relating to prescription opioid use. Your thoughts and opinions will inform the development of a brief scale for use with pain patients in Australia.
The survey takes approximately 30 minutes, is completed online and is confidential. It can also be completed over the phone or by paper copy if preferred. For more information please see or contact Emma Black, (02) 9385 0242.


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Ear, Nose, Throat and Eyes Practical Paediatrics

Thursday June 16th, 7-9pm (6.30pm to register and light refreshments) at Ella Latham Theatre, Royal Children’s Hospital.

Ophthalmology - Latest recommendations for management of: Eye infections, corneal ulcers and abrasions, squint and pseudo-squint, ptosis and retinoblastoma detection.

Ears nose & throat - Latest recommendations for management of ASOM and recurrent ASOM, OME - prolonged antibiotics, ET exercises, diagnosing effusion clinically, grommets; otitis externa; the discharging ear in General Practice; pharyngitis/tonsillitis – the role of swabbing, antibiotics and managing recurrent.

See flyer and register online here.


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Ivanhoe Medical Clinic - PT VR GP for 2-4 sessions/week - must include Thursday & Friday afternoons. Modern, large supportive group(10 GPs), FT nurses, computerised, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly ,flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact: Dr. Stephen Smith or Dr. David Doig9499 1245.


Northcote – FT/PT VR GP or Subsequent Trainee GP position. Fully accredited, computerised, long established doctor owned practice in a new purpose built facility with a fabulous work environment. Ancillary Health, Pharmacy and Pathology services on site. Inquiries Diane Cronin (Practice Manager) 9481 1214. Visit our website


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I've sure gotten old. I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, vague, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.


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And remember


            …Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.