North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1119: June 23, 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:
To subscribe to eNews click on subscribe. To be removed from the eNews distribution list click on Unsubscribe


In this issue:

Editorial                                                Medicare Locals – big changes are coming

Chronic Disease Management            Two of a KinD, Life Skills for Health

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Transition to Prevenar 13® vaccine 

Information Management                  PCEHR – the eHealth revolution, Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  GP safety button, Supporting Someone with Cancer, Vitamin D deficiency, GastroNorth, Discharge Summaries, GP Network News, Inpatient waiting times

Mental Health                                      ASBD conference, Diamond Creek Clinical Psychologist    

News for Practice Staff                       New Practice Nurse Incentive Program      

Paediatrics                                           Immunisations update with clinic placement option, Complex, moderate or severe eczema         

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


A Word from the Editor

Medicare Locals – big changes are coming

Last week the Federal Government announced that Northern Melbourne will be amongst the four regions to host the first wave of Medicare Locals in Victoria.

As a result, the North East Valley and Northern (Melbourne) Divisions of General Practice have been charged with the responsibility of setting up a regional primary care organisation to be known as the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local covering a community with a combined population of over 630,000 residents.

This is an exciting development that will allow GPs in the north to be pioneers in an entirely new structure that can influence the direction of health reform nationally and locally.

Medicare Locals are a policy initiative that comes out of the national health reform process. The primary care part of health reform seeks to promote greater Commonwealth investment in community based primary care, and especially general practice.

Like Divisions, Medicare Locals will be run by locally elected Boards that will have some local control over the way that public money is spent in health.

While the Divisions welcome the new Medicare Locals program we are conscious that it will change the way that Divisions operate and has the potential to affect our long term viability. We believe that it is important to retain Divisions as service providers to general practice and as advocates for GPs.

With the commencement of Medicare Locals, Divisions will cease to be directly funded by the Commonwealth. This means that Divisions will have to compete for funding from the Medicare Local and other sources in order to continue to provide services and maintain their infrastructure.

Both boards are confident that with some changes, the two Divisions can attract the funds that they will need to continue to provide services to general practice.

At our AGMs later this year, members will be asked to approve a process that will lead to the merger of the two Divisions within the next two years. A case will be made to members that Divisions should continue and that the best way to do that is to pool our resources by becoming one organisation that covers all general practices in the area of the new Medicare Local.

Meanwhile, both Divisions are working to ensure that we continue business as usual in our provision of general practice support during the transition and the foreseeable period beyond.

Dr Peter Eizenberg


North East Valley Division

Dr Shane Conway


Northern Division


Back to top


Chronic Disease Management

Two of a KinD

The Two of a KinD (Kidneys in Diabetes) Deloitte Access Economic Report, prepared for Kidney Health Australia, is calling for kidney screening to be made a high priority for patients with type 2 diabetes in the wake of a major study which has found 1,800 lives could be saved through earlier diagnosis and treatment to avoid end-stage kidney disease.

The Report concludes that type 2 diabetes is now the leading cause of life threatening kidney disease in Australia and an annual kidney health test would prolong the lives of thousands of type 2 diabetes patients and significantly reduce the need for kidney dialysis and transplantation.

The full Report is available at


Life Skills for Health

This course will be running at Banyule Community Health Service on an ongoing basis. It runs over 6 weeks, sessions are 2.5 hours. It will benefit individuals with a chronic condition, by promoting participants’ confidence, skills and ability to manage their health on a day-to-day basis. It is based on the concept of self-management and is backed by extensive research (see and

The next course is due to start Thursday the 14th of July 1.30-4pm for 6 weeks at our West Heidelberg site. Please note that participants need to reside within Banyule. For further information and referrals, please contact: Service Access Department 9450 2000.


Back to top


Continuing Professional Development

Austin Health - Division of Medicine Grand Round

“MAC by PC” Speakers: Dr Gail Cross, Registrar, and Dr Patrick Charles, Head Medical Unit 3.

Wednesday 29th, 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.


Early Detection and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease

Presented by: Dr Peter Mount, Nephrologist, Austin Hospital

Wednesday 29th June, 6:30 - 9 pm (Dinner from 6:00 pm) at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Flyer


Toxicology Winter Forum 2011
For FACEMs, EM Trainees, GPs, Pharmacists, Clinicians interested in Toxicology.
Friday 1 July 9am-2pm at Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Austin Tower, Austin Hospital. No Cost.
Enquiries and RSVP (by 27 June)
Click here for program/flyer.


Assessment of Haematuria and Urological Malignancies

Tuesday 5th July, 7.00pm - 9.15pm (Registration: 6.30) - Epworth Freemasons CPD for GPs at Dallas Brooks Hall, 300 Albert Street, East Melbourne. Flyer


Acute ENT Conditions and Acute Visual Disturbance

Tuesday 26th July 7-9pm (Light refreshments from 6.30pm) at Lucy Jones Hall (entrance off Albert St), Eye And Ear Hospital, Gisborne Street, East Melbourne. Flyer


Back to top



Transition to Prevenar 13® vaccine

Prevenar® vaccine will cease to be used from 1 July 2011.

Prevenar 13® will replace it in the infant primary immunisation schedule at two, four and six months of age. In addition a supplementary catch-up dose of Prevenar13® for all children aged 12 months to 35 months will be commencing 1 October 2011. This catch-up vaccine program will run until 30 September 2012.

Prevenar 13® comprises an expanded range of pneumococcal strains to protect children against pneumococcal bacteria. Prevenar 13® protects against 13 strains including 19A which recently accounted for 20% of pneumococcal disease notifications in Victoria.

A fact sheet for advice about the transition to Prevenar 13® vaccine; a new National Immunisation Program schedule and a criterion for use of government vaccine fact sheet are available on-line at

Please call the Immunisation Section of Department of Health on 1300 882 008 if you require further advice.


Back to top


Information Management

PCEHR – the eHealth revolution

Like it or not the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) combined with individual heath identifiers is going to be rolled out by the federal government  from as early as July 2012. The PCEHR will include a shared health summary detailing current diagnoses, medications, allergies, adverse reactions and immunisations. The division will provide more information on this “initiative” but, in the meantime, it is suggested you read the article in the June 24 edition of Australian Doctor that succinctly outlines the pros and cons of the PCEHR roll out.


Medical Director Tip - Adding to the Action List

Please note: the handling of the Action List changed with the May 2011 upgrade.

Actions are designed to remind the practitioner to perform one or more clinical actions for the patient, but can be used to record any reminder notice about the patient.

To add an Action

1.      From inside a patient record select Clinical >Actions

2.      Click on the Add button

3.      For Action description either type in the action or select from the picklist and select a date.

4.      Click on Save.

Now when you open a patient list, outstanding actions due in the next 7 days will be displayed. By clicking on the Show all actions box you are able to see all the outstanding actions for that patient.


This week’s IM problem - Deleting recall reasons

Question: How do I delete recall reasons from the picklist?

Answer:  Fortunately with the May 2011 upgrade this has been greatly simplified.

1.      Make sure a patient record is open.

2.      From the Clinical menu select Recall…

3.      Click on the Add button.

4.      Click once on an “unwanted” recall reason to highlight and then press the Delete key on the keyboard.


Back to top


Items of Interest

GP safety button

A convenient and economical solution to potentially unsafe situations for GPs, nurses or reception staff is to install a safety button. See here for a video from the ABC Inventors show. For more information visit


Supporting Someone with Cancer

Thursday July 21st from 6pm – 8pm (light meal at 5.30pm) at the Austin, and is open to anyone who is supporting or caring for someone who has cancer.

This workshop, run by Carers Victoria, will be focussing on “Lasting the Distance” - building carer resilience and managing the stress of caring.

Bookings are essential by Tuesday 19th July to Tammy - 9496 3799 or Dianne - 9496 3315


Increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency this winter

SunSmart is warning health professionals that certain population groups face an increased risk of low or deficient vitamin D levels this winter. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer but also the best natural source of vitamin D, essential for strong bones and overall health. Population groups at risk include people with naturally very dark skin, those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons, babies of vitamin D deficient mothers, older Victorians and people who are housebound or in institutional care.

In Victoria, the UV is below three between May and August and is generally not damaging to the skin. Sun protection is not required unless in Alpine areas, spending extended periods of time outdoors or near highly reflective surfaces such as snow. For vitamin D, people with fair to olive skin should aim for 2-3 hours of sun exposure to face, arms and hands or equivalent area of skin spread across the week. People with naturally dark skin should aim for 3-6 times this exposure level.

For resources, education and support for health professionals, go to



There is a new female gastroenterologist at GastroNorth. Dr Shamilah Lachal has an interest in Inflammatory bowel disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, carbohydrate intolerance, coeliac disease, GORD, Hepatitis B & C, alcohol related liver disease as well as community gastroenterology and hepatology. Dr Lachal consults at Latrobe Uni Medical Centre & Eltham Specialist Consulting Suites, for appointments please contact GastroNorth on 9473 8865.


New Format - Discharge Summaries
GPs will gradually begin to receive discharge summaries for inpatients discharged from Austin Health in a new format. These changes are due to the introduction at Austin Health of a new state-wide IT system for health, HealthSMART. As a consequence of using this new system, practice information for GPs will be drawn from the Human Services Directory (HSD) (not the Austin's internal GP Database). Thus it is critical that GPs ensure their details are accurate on the HSD and regularly review this information. 

GPs will continue to receive admission and discharge notifications forms in the present format. There will be no change to the Emergency Department and Day Surgery Discharge Summaries. For more information go to or contact GP Liaison Officer Dr Wendy Fisher -


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: AMA Council of General Practice (AMACGP) meeting; Medical profession features in Queen’s Birthday Honours List; AMA welcomes increase in organ donations; Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 - Guide and Transitional Wage Calculator; AMA supplementary submission on the Impact of emergency department targets on junior; doctors; Hertz - Rent for 3 pay for 2!


Northern Health Continuing Care Inpatient Services

Current inpatient waiting times at Wednesday 22nd is Gem 12-14 days, Rehab 7-9 days

For further information/ assistance please contact: The ACCESS office on 9495 3443.


Back to top


Mental Health

The Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders

The Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders (ASBD) conference will be held in Sydney in October. Flyer


Diamond Creek Clinical Psychologist
Maree Daly is a Clinical Psychologist and has recently opened a consulting room in the Diamond Creek Shopping Plaza. She specialises in treating adults with problems related to depression and anxiety. As a Clinical Psychologist, Maree is able to provide psychological therapy under the MBS where eligible clients are able to claim the maximum benefit possible for psychological treatment under Medicare. For clients with a Mental Health Treatment Plan, gap fees are typically less than $25 per session. Contact phone 0430 590 647, fax 03 9012 4104 or email


Back to top


News for Practice Staff

New Practice Nurse Incentive Program

This information is from Medicare and also has a ready reckoner to help calculate your entitled payments.


Back to top



Immunisations update with clinic placement option

Did you know… that giving sucrose to some age groups of children helps decrease vaccination discomfort? Do you know the latest recommendations for giving flu vaccination to kids? How to manage catch up vaccines and vaccination variations? How about vaccinations for pregnant women?

Come along to a fascinating, informative and extremely useful update to be held at the RCH, and even better, sign up for an optional clinic placement with the infectious disease team or at the Drop-in centre.  Run in partnership with Divisions of General Practice.

Tuesday July 19th, 7-9pm at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville. Registrations essential.  Queries to Susan Jury (03) 9345 4645 or See flyer.


Got a kid with complex, moderate or severe eczema?

Expert RCH Eczema nurses provide comprehensive assessment, education and care coordination (with other community supports as needed) through community centre eczema clinics. Community Health Service GPs and the RCH Dermatology Department provide medical support. A comprehensive management plan and referral back to the child's usual GP form the core activities of this clinic. The first consultation requires a full morning - the child and family have an individual assessment followed by group education. Clinics are held at North Yarra Community Health Service (Abbotsford) and Doutta Galla Community Health Service (Kensington).

·         Referral forms & more information:

·         RCH Primary Care Liaison


Back to top


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


Fairfield - F/T or P/T VR GP required for GP operated, computerised, fully accredited medical centre with nursing support.  A friendly and supportive team environment with flexible family friendly working hours. Excellent remuneration. Please contact Rosa Merigan on 03 9481 4861 or 0417 596 180.


Hurstbridge – F/T or P/T VR GP required for computerised, fully accredited medical centre located in a lovely leafy semi-rural environment.  A fabulous, friendly work environment with nursing support and ancillary health.  Outer Metro Relocation Incentives could apply.  Contact Heather Fisher (Practice Manager) 9718 2611, 0407 355 035 or


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.


Ivanhoe - VR GP F/T or P/T required to work in the GP operated Accredited Livingstone Street Clinic. A friendly and supportive team environment in this computerised Medical Centre with Allied Health, RN’s and Radiology & Pathology on site. No A/H’s. Please contact John or Ken on 03 9497 1188.


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


Practice Staff

Bundoora - We require highly motivated, friendly receptionists who works well in a team environment.  Experience in practice 2000 and medical director would be an advantage but not essential.  Approximately 15hrs/week. Ability to cover holiday, maternity and sick leave. Email resume to


Heidelberg - Medical Receptionist (experienced) required Part Time - Mon, Thurs, Fri, 2 in 3 Saturday mornings and holiday cover. Phone Carol 9459 9237 or 0419 135 194


Back to top



The Gynaecologist

A middle-aged woman seemed sheepish as she visited her gynaecologist.

“Come now,” coaxed the doctor, “you've been seeing me for years. There's nothing you can't tell me.”

“This one's kind of strange...” the woman said.

“Let me be the judge of that,” The doctor replied.

“Well,” she said, “yesterday I went to the bathroom in the morning and heard a plink-plink-plink in the toilet and when I looked down, the water was full of 5 cent pieces.”

“I see.”

“That afternoon I went to the bathroom again and, plink-plink-plink, there were 10 cent pieces in the bowl.” “That night,” she went on, “I went again, Plink-plink-plink, and there were 20 cent pieces and this morning there were 50 cent pieces, You've got to tell me what's wrong with me!' she implored. “I'm scared out of my wits!”

The gynaecologist put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “There, there, it's nothing to be scared about.”

“You're simply going through the change!”


Back to top




And remember


            …Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.