North East Valley DGP eNews    

No 1111: April 21, 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                                                Health alert  

Chronic Disease Management            Supermarket Tours, The Diabetes MILES Study, The Community Asthma Program        

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       New Cervical Cancer Vaccine Website, Pre-immunisation fact sheet, National Immunisation Program      

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Nephrology private practice, Lupus and Connective Tissue Disease Seminar, Northern Health Ear Nose & Throat Specialist Clinic Referral Alert, Rural Locum Program - GP assistance required, Tinnitus Counselling and Management Seminars, NEMICS newsletter, GP Network News    

News for Practice Staff                       Caring for Nurses and Midwives, Launch of new online diabetes education program for practice nurses, International Nurses Day      

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Health alert

The TGA is advising health professionals not to administer a second dose of Pneumovax 23 vaccine to patients, who have previously received a first dose of Pneumovax23, pending the outcome of a review of an apparent increased rate of injection site reactions following administration of the second dose. See the full Chief Health Officer alert here. The administration of a second dose of Pneumovax23 vaccine is predominantly causing an increase in injection site reactions including cellulitis, extensive swelling from shoulder to elbow and or abscess.

For more detailed information on this matter please visit the TGA website


NB: There will be no eNews next week. Happy Easter!!


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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 Safeway Box Hill Central Cnr Main and Station Streets Box Hill on Friday 29 April at 10.00am. 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.


The Diabetes MILES Study

Management and Impact for Long-term Empowerment and Success. The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) invite Victorian adults (18-70) living with type 1 or type 2 to be  part of the largest ever Australian study about what it’s like to live with diabetes. By taking part you will help to ensure the Diabetes MILES survey is as good as it can be by doing a ‘practice run’ of the survey and providing feedback. For further information contact ACBRD on (03) 8648 1844, email or web


The Community Asthma Program (CAP)

The paediatric asthma program providing free education & support to children & families - in their own home or community setting. - Ph 9345-5295

Research:   'What role do hospitals play in treating asthma? – see here

Mediterranean Diet for Kids with Asthma – see under Latest Asthma Articles on the Asthma Foundation website.


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Continuing Professional Development

Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“Cellulitis – A Surgical Disease” Presented by: General Medicine 2

Wednesday 27th 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.


CPR Update

Wednesday 4th May 6.30 -9.30pm (Dinner from 6.15pm). Update your CPR skills in line with new ARC guidelines. Target Group: GPs, Practice staff and Practice nurses. Presented by: Mr David Bourke at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Flyer


Bowel Cancer Screening CPD

General Practitioners and Practice Nurses are invited to attend an update on Hepatitis C treatment followed by an update on Bowel Screening & Hydrogen Breath Testing.

Speakers: Dr. Scott Patterson and Dr. Steve Lontos, Department of Gastroenterology, Austin Health

Thursday, 26th May, 6:30 – 9:15pm at Barrio Restaurant, 77 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe. [Application Form]


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New Cervical Cancer Vaccine Website launched by Cancer Council Australia

A quarter of girls aged 12–13 are not having the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, despite it being available to them free of charge under the school-based National HPV Vaccination Program. Cancer Council Australia has launched a new website designed to increase uptake of this vaccine.

The Cancer Council Australia encourages GPs to refer parents and young teenage girls to the new website to learn about HPV and the vaccine.

The website contains tailored, evidence-based information about HPV and the cervical cancer vaccine for girls and their parents or guardians, including videos and printable resources. It also contains guidance for GPs administering Gardasil in a primary care setting, including how to order the vaccine and reporting requirements for doses given.

The website has been developed in line with the latest research on issues affecting vaccine uptake in school-based vaccination programs.


Pre-immunisation fact sheet

The translated version of the Pre-immunisation fact sheet has been updated to include the rotavirus vaccine link with intussusception.The updated translated Common reactions sheet and Rotavirus brochure will be available for download in the near future. Please download the translated fact sheet (includes English) from the immunisation website.

Translated languages:  Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, Croatian, Dari, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Karen, Khmer/Cambodian, Macedonian, Maltese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.


National Immunisation Program

The National Immunisation Program schedule is planned to change in the near future to commence the immunisation schedule at 6 weeks of age for infants. The other schedule points of 4 months and 6 months are unchanged for these infants. The rationale for the schedule change is to start protecting the vulnerable infant at an earlier age against pertussis with the first dose. More advice on the formal commencement will be forthcoming when available. In the meantime you can commence/continue immunising from 6 weeks of age if appropriate to the circumstance as previously advised. The infant should be 6 weeks old from date of birth.

Do not hesitate to call the Immunisation Section of Department of Health on telephone 1300 882 008 or email if required on

Please note that earlier commencement of routine childhood vaccination schedule at 6 weeks of age (rather than 8 weeks) is perfectly compatible with current guidelines.

i.e. routine doses of 8-week vaccinations administered 2 weeks early (at 6 weeks of age) is considered 'valid' under all existing vaccination programs, including ACIR, GPII, etc. Similarly the scheduled 4-year old vaccinations are considered 'valid' when given early, anytime from 3.5 years of age.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Backdating measurements

Measurements such as BP, Height Weight can be back dated, for example if you have taken these measurements on a home visit and are not entering that information until a later date. Simply click on the BP or Weight Calculator tab, enter the values and change the date on the calendar at the top left of the Window. Note that you cannot change the date for these values if you use the Progress Notes >Examination >General tab.


This weeks IM problem - Finding the TAC Certificate

Question: Where do I find the Victorian TAC Certificate on the NEVDGP website?

Answer: The one in MD’s Supplied templates is obsolete. We are currently working on the new one and it will be on the NEVDGP website in the MD templates section under Medical Certificates: Certificates


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Items of Interest

Nephrology private practice

Having completed Nephrology/General Medical training at Austin Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Dr Niroj Obeyesekere will be commencing private practise starting in May at 226 Burgundy Street Heidelberg (Ph 9459 2222 fax 9457 1726). Inpatient services are also available at Warringal Private Hospital and Epworth Hospital in Richmond. His interests in nephrology include diabetic nephropathy, chronic renal failure, hypertension and glomerulonephritis. He is also interested in General Medicine and would welcome referrals which require a general physician.


Lupus and Connective Tissue Disease Seminar

Tuesday 10 May 6-8:30pm (5:45 registration) at Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton

To mark World Lupus Day on Tuesday the 10th of May 2011 Arthritis Victoria will be hosting this interactive seminar focusing on the early diagnosis of lupus and associated connective tissue diseases including, Sjogrens Syndrome, Scleroderma and Myositis.  Our expert presenters will cover what’s new in lupus and connective tissue disease from medical, psychological, practical and personal perspectives. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about lupus and connective tissue diseases to come along.   

Cost: $10 ($8 for members) Family members & carers no charge. RSVP: Friday 6 May 2011. Flyer             

For further information contact: Programs Administrator on 8531 8000 oremail:


Northern Health Ear Nose & Throat Specialist Clinic Referral Alert

Due to reduction in Consultant availability for the next 12 months (til May 2012), Northern Health has reduced its Ear Nose & Throat Clinic to 2 sessions per month (1 paediatric & 1 adult). Northern Health's Ear Nose & Throat Service will continue to accept referrals however it is likely that only the most urgent referrals will be seen. When making a referral please provide sufficient information for Northern Health Triage to ascertain the level of urgency. You will be notified if your patient has an appointment booked or is to be added to the extended waiting list. Patients on the extended waiting list are unlikely to receive an appointment within 100 weeks. Please monitor the status of patients on the extended waiting list and notify Northern Health of any change in condition. Please note that Austin Health does not have capacity to provide service to patients from the Northern Health catchment. The wait time for an appointment at Austin for non-urgent, Ear Nose & Throat patients is in excess of 100 weeks at this time. Referrals to other Health Services and Royal Children's Hospital may need to be considered. For further information, please contact the Northern Health Ambulatory Service on 8405 8335


Rural Locum Program - GP assistance required

The Rural Workforce Agency, Victoria wish to find what incentives are required to encourage more urban doctors to perhaps offer 1-2 weeks locum placements per year in  rural Victoria. If you would be able to assist with this please contact Angela Phillips on 9349 7837 or fax 9820 0401.


Tinnitus Counselling and Management Seminars

The Tinnitus Association of Victoria provides a free telephone counselling service by experienced counsellors for tinnitus patients and their families. The Association also conducts bi-monthly two hour seminars providing people with the techniques, knowledge and understanding to successfully manage their tinnitus. The next seminar is Sunday 15th May. For enquiries phone 9755 2238 or register at


NEMICS newsletter

North Eastern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service April newsletter.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Testing for Vitamin D deficiency; Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR);Doctors’ Health; Certifying Illness; Emergency Training; Hertz Discounts for Members; Post new comment.


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News for Practice Staff

Nursing & Midwifery Health Program, Victoria: Caring for Nurses and Midwives

The Nursing & Midwifery Health Program, Victoria (NMHPV), formerly ‘Victorian Nurses Health Program’ is a free, confidential and independent support service caring for nurses, midwives and student nurses and midwives who are experiencing mental health concerns and substance use issues. The NMHPV provides information, conducts assessments, develops individual management plans, facilitates support groups and coordinates interventions for participants. The service can develop return to work programs and will assist nurses and midwives as they re-enter the workplace. The NMHPV also offers advice and guidance to managers and employers who suspect that one of their nurse employees is experiencing sensitive health concerns and need advice regarding how best to support them. Referrals can be made by phone and assessment times arranged within a few days. The NMHPV has a rural support service for rural and regional nurses and can assist participants with travel costs to Melbourne if unable to access one of the regional offices. For more information see the NMHPV website or phone (03) 9415 7551.


Launch of new online diabetes education program for practice nurses

The Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA) and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) have launched a new online education program, Diabetes Management in the Primary Care Setting. The program will improve the knowledge and understanding of diabetes amongst registered and enrolled nurses in areas from patho-physiology, prevention and detection of diabetes to practical information to help patients understand the role of nutrition, physical activity and exercise in diabetes management and care. The education program also features offline assessment tasks. The first unit of the course is now available, whilst enrollment in unit 2 will commence shortly after. The course will take approximately 20-25 hours to complete.

For more information about the program or to enrol, please visit the APNA website.


International Nurses Day - 12 May 2011

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 12 (the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth). This year’s theme is ‘Closing the Gap: Increasing Access and Equity’. More details and information kits are available from the International Council of Nurses website.


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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 Doig – 9499 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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The damage that alcohol can do

A Professor of Medicine, a man well known for his earnest and oft-proclaimed Temperance views, was (yet again) lecturing the medical students on the damage that alcohol can do. To demonstrate its effect on the nervous system, he took a worm and dropped it into a glass of gin & tonic. The worm wriggled around for a few minutes before finally giving a few convulsive twitches and dying.

“And can we deduce anything from that?” asked the Professor with the triumphant air implying that only the obvious conclusion could be drawn.

“Yes,” came a voice from the back, “if you’ve got worms, drink alcohol.”


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And remember


            …I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.