North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1139: November 24, 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:

Chronic Disease Management            The Community Asthma Program (CAP) update     

Professional Development                 CPD events   

HMR                                                      TGA to cancel four prescription analgesics from 1 March 2012

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Business Modelling by Analysing Item Number Usage, Obesity in the Elderly, GP Network News    

News for Practice Staff                       Practice Managers/Practice Nurses Final Session  

Paediatrics                                           RCH Update 

Women’s Health                                  BreastScreen Victoria reminder                  

Positions vacant/wanted                            

Fun stuff                                                        


Chronic Disease Management

The Community Asthma Program (CAP) update

CAP is a HARP program that provides free asthma education to young people (0-18 yrs) and their families, in their own home. Current waiting list times for the program are three weeks. CAP average waiting list times are b/w 4-6 weeks. Link to how to refer to this service is here


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Continuing Professional Development

Co-ordinated Veterans Care Program Information Session

Wednesday 30th November 7-9pm (Dinner & Registration from 6:30 pm) for GPs, Practice Nurses & Managers at John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Application.


Skin Cancer Education 2012

The SCCANZ 2012 Education calendar is now available here.


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Home Medicines Review

TGA to cancel four prescription analgesics from 1 March 2012

Following a review of the available evidence, the TGA found that the safety risks of using analgesics containing dextropropoxyphene outweighed the benefits. This position is consistent with medicine regulators in the United States, Europe, New Zealand and elsewhere, where dextropropoxyphene-containing medicines have been removed from the market.

The cancellation date has been set so that patients can move safely to alternative treatments - there is a risk that patients who have been taking these medicines for some time may experience withdrawal symptoms by stopping suddenly. Dextropropoxyphene has recently been shown to affect the electrical activity of the heart, increasing the risk of serious arrhythmias. This effect is more pronounced with high doses or overdoses.

The Australian Medicines Handbook has included a statement for some time that in combination with paracetamol, [dextropropoxyphene] “has no greater analgesic effect than paracetamol alone in single doses for acute pain”.

Products containing dextropropoxyphene include : Capadex, Di-Gesic, Doloxene or Paradex.

Further information can be accessed on the TGA website.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Avoid logos and graphics in LetterWriter templates

Logos and graphics in LetterWriter make the file size of each letter balloon out in size. This can cause all sorts of storage and backup issues. If you must have a logo, consider using pre-printed letterhead but you will have to leave room at the top of each template for the letterhead. On no account press Enter several times to drop the cursor below the pre-printed letterhead. Rather, use Page Setup to set your top margin:

1.      Use a ruler to measure how much vertical space your letterhead takes up.

2.      From the File menu of LetterWriter select Modify Template… and select the template you wish to modify.

3.      From the File menu select Page Setup… and make the necessary changes, e.g. change the top margin to 60mm.

4.      Click on OK when complete.


This week’s IM problem - Creating a checkbox in LetterWriter

Question: I love creating my own templates. What is the best way to create a check box?

Answer: The easiest way is to use tables. Let’s say you want to create the following:

Type an X in the relevant box:






  1. Open LetterWriter and create your “normal” text.


  1. From the Tables menu select Insert  then Table… and create a 4 column, 1 row table – the gridlines of the table (which don’t print) will appear thus:






  1. Drag the vertical borders so your table appear so:






  1. Insert the cursor in the first cell and centre align it (so the X will appear in the middle). Repeat the process in the 3rd cell.


  1. From the Table menu select Properties… and click on Box – this will put black lines around the border of the 1st cell.  Repeat the process for the 3rd cell so it appear thus:






  1. Now type in the text in the 2nd and 4th cells:






  1. To fill in the check box simply type an X in the middle of the box.






  1. Remember the gridlines do not print so your final printed version won’t have the dotted lines displayed above






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Items of Interest

Business Modelling by Analysing Item Number Usage

A new Excel spreadsheet that allows you to analyse your item number use has been placed on the website. This allows you to use your practice management software to analyse item number use. You type in the $ totals of an item number for a given period (e.g. last 6 months) and the spreadsheet works out the number of claims for that item number. Future projections are based on the item numbers and remuneration from the November 2011 MBS item numbers.


Obesity in the Elderly

Cilla Haywood, a consultant geriatrician, is running a trial on obesity in the elderly with Professor Joe Proietto at the Repatriation Hospital. She is recruiting patients for the study. If you have patients that are aged over 65, community (not nursing home or hostel) dwelling, with a body mass index over 35, they may be eligible. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

She may be contacted on, 9496 2879 or 0407 340 863.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes: Vocational training standards for general practice are changing; Federal AMA President to visit Brisbane; Pandemic Report released; Clinical Care Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes; OnePath.


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News for Practice Staff

Practice Managers/Practice Nurses Final Session

Thursday 8th December, 6:30-9pm. This will cover Access Services for Koories and the Nurse Practitioner Program as well as an IM/eHealth Update. Plus some fun stuff! At John Scott Meeting House, La Trobe University. Application.


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RCH Update

The new Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) opens on 30 November 2011. The new RCH is next door to the current hospital in Parkville.

1.      Patient Move Day is Wednesday 30 November

·           Inpatients will be moved in one day, mid-week in daylight hours.

·           From 8am on 30 November children should present at the new RCH Emergency Department.

·           Plans are in place to seamlessly transfer emergency services during the course of the day. 

2.      Getting to the new RCH

·           Car – A new car park, under the new hospital, will open on 30 November 2011.  Entry is via Flemington Road. The car park at the old hospital will remain open for a short time after the move.

·           Tram – Trams 59 and 55 stop at a new tram stop located at the front entrance of the new hospital.

3.      Referral processes will stay the same

·         Referral form and details all available on the GP website (

4.      Hospital contact details will stay the same (phone, fax, address)

·         RCH Switchboard: 9345 5522

·         GP hotline: 9345 7060

·         GP / Primary Care Liaison: 9345 4645

·         Patients outpatient-related questions: 9345 6180

·         Fax number for referrals: 9345 5034

·         Fax numbers for departments will be forwarded to their new fax machines

·         Address will be the same: 50 Flemington Road, Parkville 3052

5.      More information

·           Patients and families will be briefed more before the Move.

·           See:


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Women’s Health

BreastScreen Victoria reminds women 45 plus ‘it’s FREE’

BreastScreen Victoria is currently sending out reminders to women over the age of 45 who have previously screened but not in the last two years. As a GP you may see women who fit this criteria so we ask all GPs to support this initiative and remind these women who are asymptomatic about free breast screening. Evidence suggests that a GP’s recommendation is highly influential in prompting women to book in for a breast screen. Please refer to our website for the closest clinic:


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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


Eltham - P/T VR GP position is now available. Eltham Clinic is a well-established, accredited, fully computerised, private billing practice. With pathology on site, practice nurses, friendly supportive staff and a pleasant work environment. Attractive remuneration with flexible hours. For further information please call Dianne Fueggle (Practice Manager) on 9431 0644 or email


Fairfield - FT/PT VR GP required for accredited, computerised family clinic. Excellent nursing support. No AH. Contact Dr D. Moors or Dr P. O’Halloran on 03 9481 7322 or email:


Ivanhoe Medical Clinic - Opportunity for FT & PT VR GP to join one of Melbourne’s most famous practices in 2012. Modern, large supportive group (10 GPs), FT nurses, computerized, CDMs, no A/Hs, friendly, flexible, mixed billing. Good remuneration. Contact:- Dr Stephen Smith or Dr David Doig on 9499 1245


Thornbury - VR GP or GPT4 Registrar required urgently to replace a “soon to retire” GP, in a busy, long established, accredited and computerized clinic with a dynamic friendly team and excellent nurse support. Mixed billing & on site pathology. For enquiries, please contact Dr Danny Lipson or Rose – Practice Manager on 9484 2007 or email


Practice Staff

Northcote area – Part time (Variable 3-4 days per week) Div 1 Practice Nurse required to assist our medical staff  in a busy general practice. Duties include wound care, travel health, immunisations, health assessments, patient triage, assist with clinical procedures and all other duties required in a general practice.  Visit our website for more information. To apply forward your resume to


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Why I’m Divorced       

Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up on that morning.
I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my husband would be pleasant and say, 'Happy Birthday!', and possibly have a small present for me.
As it turned out, he barely said good morning, let alone 'Happy Birthday.'
I thought... well, that's marriage for you, but the kids... they’ll remember.
My kids came bouncing down stairs to breakfast and didn't say a word. So when I left for the office I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.
As I walked into my office, my handsome boss Rick, said, 'Good morning, and by the way Happy Birthday!' It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.
I worked until one o'clock, when Rick knocked on my door and said, 'You know, it’s such a beautiful day outside, and it is your birthday, what do you say we go out to lunch, just you and me?'
I said, 'Thanks, Rick, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go!'
We went to lunch. But we didn't go where we normally would go. He chose instead a quiet bistro with a private table.  We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.
On the way back to the office, Rick said, 'You know, It's such a beautiful day... we don't need to go straight back to the office, do we?'
I responded, 'I guess not. What do you have in mind?'
He said, 'Let's drop by my place, it's just around the corner.'
After arriving at his house, Rick turned to me and said, 'If you don't mind, I'm going to step into the bedroom for just a moment. I'll be right back.'
'Ok.' I nervously replied.
He went into the bedroom and, after a couple of minutes, he came out carrying a huge birthday cake, followed by my husband, my kids, and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all singing 'Happy Birthday'.

And I just sat there....

on the couch....



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And remember

               …You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.