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Message from the CEO

As you read this foreword to our newsletter, our colleagues in Country Health SA will be making the final preparations for the advent of the six new country health regions, to commence on the 1 July 2019.

The work to be done for them has been significant, with many challenges and much in the way of structural reorganisation and potentially cultural change. We wish them well as new entities and look forward to working with them in partnerships that may be achieved, to improve localisation of service control, management and relevance. The new entities will be managed locally to the regions and their Boards reflect the local regions. New CEOs have reached out for engagement and we are pleased to contribute. 

Our role as Country SA PHN, is to seek to better facilitate integration and coordination of health and to commission services with funding provided by the Commonwealth. What we do is an adjunct to the necessary services provided by the State through the LHNs, consistent with the agreed COAG frameworks for services. While SA Health provides significant needed services to communities, there are many organisations and individuals that, or who, contribute substantially to the good health and service delivery across the country. This would certainly include general practice and private providers of allied health, mental health clinicians and other needed patient care and community health activities. As Country SA PHN, with our task of better integration and coordination, we will as a priority, be seeking to ensure the link up of these important and substantial contributors to country health support and promote and advocate for recognition of same and the potential that they have as part of a local joined up health system in our regions. 

There is much in the way of local opportunity arising from the change and we welcome the new country LHNs and look forward to working with them.

Your Local Service Directory
The online Services Directory provides current information about health, community and support services in your region.  Connecting country South Australian people and services, the online services directory aligns local services with six domains to respond to people’s health and wellbeing. This resource is a valuable tool to enable service providers in facilitation partnerships, conduction cross referrals and assist in service mapping.  

Local stakeholders are encouraged to get a free listing on their local services directory.  Simply enter your details on the directory contact tab and a form will be sent for completion of details for the website.  Service details can be updated through the online update mechanism or an annual update email.

Local communities will drive the sustainability of the services directory through agency advertising links, correspondence and client referral to the website, with stakeholders making the services directory part of their daily work practice and a constant community agenda, this resource will maintain its platform as an invaluable resource.
Visit and click on the region you live in to view your local service directory today! 

Welcoming Environments Grant
Country SA PHN in collaboration with the Indigenous Health Project Officers of the Integrated Team Care Activity released the Welcoming Environments Grant. The aim of the grant was to support primary health services to create a welcoming environment by engaging wih local Aboriginal artists from their region. Victor Medical Centre is the first of 12 organisations who have taken advantage of this opportunity across the Country SA PHN service area.
Victor Medical Centre had purchased the artwork of Amanda Westley, a Ngarrindjeri woman and artist, born in Victor Harbor, South Australia. 

“My father was a boat builder, so the water and the ocean have always been a big part of my life. My painting style is dot work and the bright colours from my coastal country hometown and the ocean are represented through my paintings." said Amanda

"I have been painting from a very young age and I have always enjoyed painting and the calm that it brought. I hope to continue creating pieces that are inspiring and brighten people’s day with my choice of colours."

"My Land Lines series represents country from an aerial view, for Aboriginal people land has a spiritual and cultural connection and is so important to our identity and way of life. With this series I have used a combination of ocean colours and earth colours to represent my country, the small country town near the ocean. I have also introduced brighter colours such as pink and orange to represent how country looks during different seasons as well as different times of the day." Amanda said

"My family is one of the oldest Aboriginal families here on the south coast so this land I call home has been a part of my family for a very long time, and by creating this Land Lines series I am acknowledging the important connection my family have with this land.”

Three pieces from Amanda Westley’s Land Lines series have been included at the Victor Medical Centre

The Coorong
“I spent a lot of my childhood at the Coorong and one of my favourite memories is learning about my family when my Mum would take me to Camp Coorong.”

“My great great-grandfather was a stone mason and helped build the church in 1891.... we have a lot of family and history in Raukkan.”

Ngarrindjeri Ruwi
“ Ruwi meaning country, this is an aerial view of the Ngarrindjeri Nation”
Ngarrindjeri Ruwi

Practice Network Meeting held in Port Augusta

On Saturday 6 April 2019, Country SA PHN hosted a Practice Network workshop at Port Augusta for general practice staff. The event was well attended with general practice staff travelling from across the region, including from as far away as Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs.

Popular presenters, Marion McKay and Deb Docking, provided a wealth of information on;  managing missed appointments, billings, practice standards, triage, culture, communication and investment in practice staff.  The day was accompanied by beautiful weather, lovely venue, wonderful food and great discussion throughout the day.
One participant commented "this is the best Practice Network Meeting I have attended. I have so much relevant information to take back and use in my practice."

Meningococcal ACWY vaccine for adolescents

Meningococcal disease occurs when meningococcal bacteria, invades the body and causes serious disease. Although the majority of people will recover, if the infection is diagnosed early, the disease can cause complications that may result in permanent disabilities through loss of limbs, deafness, blindness, scarring, kidney or liver failure and can even cause death. 

The meningococcal ACWY vaccine provides protection against four types of meningococcal disease, including two types which have become more common in Australia in recent years, caused by the type W and Y bacteria. Adolescents from 15 years of age are at increased risk of meningococcal disease and are more likely to spread the bacteria to others.

From 1 April 2019, the vaccine is available for free through the National Immunisation Program to:
Year 10 students (aged 14–16 years) through school- based immunisation programs.
Adolescents aged 15 to 19 of age who missed receiving the vaccine at school through their GP or primary care provider 

The Department of Health has developed a range of materials to support uptake of the vaccine.  These materials are available at
Need to find information quickly in one place? HealthPathways SA has up-to-date immunisation resources and South Australian contacts covering vaccination for children, adolescents, adults and pregnant women to support you with managing immunisations within your practice. Find out more or register for a login today: Register Here, Already have a login? Check out HealthPathways SA immunisation pathways today. 

Better connections: Your health, Your say
The Australian Digital Health Agency has opened an online consultation for all Australians, including frontline clinicians, consumers, healthcare organisations and the technology sector to have their say on a more modern, digitally connected health system. 

The online consultation is part of a nationwide series of discussions used to co-design the National Health Interoperability Roadmap, which will agree the standards and priorities required to achieve a more modern digitally connected health system in Australia.

The media release 'Better Connected: a national conversation begins on a roadmap for a more modern, digitally connected health system' is available at 

If you need support with the My Health Record,  please contact the Country SA PHN's Digital Health Team at

Practice Incentive Program: Indigenous Health Incentive Consultations

The Department of Health is currently undertaking a review of the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI). This review aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the PIP IHI to support general practices to provide culturally appropriate health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease.

The PIP IHI was introduced in 2010 to promote best practice, culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease in mainstream GP practices, while also supporting the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

The Department is seeking submissions from organisations and individuals to understand how the PIP IHI works on the ground for clinics, clinicians and consumers. For more information please go to the Department of Health Website.

2019 RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Awards – Nominations now open
Growing Strong Award recognises registrars with a demonstrated interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Standing Strong Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Award recognises GPs working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or community groups.
Student Bursary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students with a demonstrated interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. 
Nominations for all three awards close on Monday 17 June 2018 – please share with your networks and colleagues or apply today.

Existing and Future Point-of-Care Testing (PoCT) Survey
The Department of Health is seeking responses for a Federal Department of Health Report into current use and potential use of PoCT. 
Providing information about existing PoCT practices may assist the Department of Health in the design of an eventual PoCT funding model and your collaboration in obtaining such information is greatly appreciated. 
Survey Responses can be completed online via this link

Can a person with an egg allergy receive the 2019 influenza vaccine?

Egg allergy is not a contraindication to receiving the 2019 influenza vaccine and people with egg allergy, including anaphylaxis, can be safely vaccinated with influenza vaccines.
People with a history of anaphylaxis to egg can be vaccinated with a full vaccine dose in medical facilities with staff experienced in recognising and treating anaphylaxis.

Nurses, are you new to primary health care, or want to mentor someone who is?
APNA’s Transition to Practice Program is a 12 month education, support and mentoring program for nurses new to primary health care.

We are looking for 
Nurses,whether recently graduated or experienced nurses, who have transitioned into primary health care; and experienced primary health care nurses to be mentors.

Applications close Friday 28 June 2019. Don’t let this opportunity be the one that got away, find out more at

Cervical Screening update: End of Parallel Cervical Screening Register Arrangements

SA Health wishes to advise that the South Australian Cervical Screening Registry (SACSR) which has operated in parallel  with the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR), is being closed which will bring this state into alignment with the rest of Australia.
The cervical screening records of South Australian participants have already been transferred to the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) and as of 17 May 2019 the NCSR will be the sole contact point for accessing cervical screening histories, receiving test results and clinical information. Please update your records with the NCSR contact details, phone 1800 627 701, fax 1800 627 702 or the website  

GP Educational Videos

The Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE) has developed eight 3-5 minute palliative care educational videos for GPs. The videos are designed to provide short, sharp material about the major elements of palliative care to time poor GPs and other health professionals.
Topics: Cancer Pain; Case Conferencing; Grief and Loss; Nausea and Vomiting; Paediatric Palliative Care; Principles of Palliative Care; Prognostication and GPs; Spirituality and GPs. Further information and links to videos are available at

Yorketown Medial Practice
The practice is looking for a flexible, empathetic qualified GP, emergency medicine experience essential, CHSA credentials required. 

The practice is co-located with the hospital, well established, highly regarded mixed billing practice, AGPAL accredited, RA4-Remote and DWS available. Competitive Salary + 60% of Billings, Relocation assistance and housing available, Take over an existing patient base, Unrivalled work/life balance and family friendly hours, Join a team of dedicated, experienced and friendly health professionals.

This is an opportunity not to be missed! Apply now! Email: for enquiries: Leanne Warren 08 8852 1002.
IMR Locumbank
IMR LocumBank are working exclusively with Millicent Hospital to ensure they are covered all year round with talented GP/ED & Senior ED Registrar locum doctors.

Can you see yourself working in a hospital that has a highly trained and supportive medical team, flexible short term and on-going locums, along with great daily rates?  If so, I would love to speak to you about these opportunities.

If you are already credentialed for Country Heath SA, the transition is very easy for you to start at Millicent Hospital. Travel and accommodation included! To find out more, please contact  Leah Uren on 03 9647 5136 or
Better Medical – Adelaide Hills
Join an innovative and forward thinking group of clinics, which highly values quality care and clinical autonomy with a community focus.

We have GP opportunities for full or part-time positions.  Modern, fully accredited clinics, DWS and non-DWS.  Well established mixed / private billing. 
Opportunities in clinics located in Stirling, Mountt Barker and Strathalbyn with excellent nursing and administrative support. 
For further information and confidential discussion please contact Sally McGregor at or 0419 804 528.
Stirling Central Health Clinic
The clinic is one of the last remaining private GP owned clinics in the Adelaide Hills region treating patients from all walks of life that benefit from the quality of doctors available to them in a practice that has a positive and understanding culture.

AGPAL Accredited private practice with a great community reputation provides a Vocationally Registered General Practitioner (VR-GP) the opportunity to practice alongside 11 GPs and our onsite allied health and specialist services.

For more information contact Michael Murphy via email or 0427 601 517.

Beyond Now – Your Suicide Safety Planning App. Beyond Blue has developed Beyond Now, an easy-to-use suicide safety planning App for smartphones that provides a convenient way for people to develop a personalised safety plan. To download the App go to 
Resources to support new parents and parents-to-be, the free resources help new and expectant mums, dads, partners and family members to identify if a new parent isn’t coping. They also explain some of the common emotional challenges faced by new and expectant parents and offer practical advice on how to deal with them. Resources can be downloaded here.
Medicare item number 699: Heart Health Checks, A new interim Medicare Benefit Scheme item was introduced in April 2019 to allow GPs to conduct a Heart Health Check that lasts at least 20 minutes, in consulting rooms. A Heart Health Check is the patient-friendly term for absolute CVD risk assessment and ongoing management. Find out more about the new item click here.
End of Life Care Training Resources, two resources have been developed to highlight a range of education and training options available for clinicians, healthcare workers, carers and consumers: Education and Training Resources and Education Options. More information is available on the End of life care for health professionals webpage.
A series of clinical factsheets to complement comprehensive clinical guidelines. Developed with and for generalist clinicians, including GPs, nurses, allied health professionals and others who require concise and practical recommendations for specific areas of cardiovascular disease management, the factsheets are available on the website.
Australian Immunisation Handbook updated recommendation on measles vaccination The recommended age at which infants can receive  vaccine in special circumstances has been lowered from 9 months to 6 months. For more information go to 
Have you seen the updated Asthma Guidelines for Health Professionals? Asthma Australia (AA) is pleased to welcome the first update to the Australian Asthma Handbook by the National Asthma Council Australia, view the summary of the revisions here.
The Blood Service Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be in Clare on Thursday 13 June to Friday 14 June, in Berri on Monday 17 June to Tuesday 18 June, in Port Augusta on Tuesday 18 June to Friday 21 June and in Renmark on Wednesday 19 June to Thursday 20 June 2019.
Country Health SA News for Rural Doctors is available to view at 
New Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter) has been made in law and will take effect from 1 July 2019, the Charter is available on the department’s website.

For more professional development opportunities go to
North & West Region
Cervical Screening Training - Port Lincoln
Saturday 1 June 2019, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Time heals all wounds...or does it? - Port Lincoln
Tuesday 18 June 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
AAPM - Eyre Peninsula Health Network Function - Port Lincoln
Tuesday 4 June 2019, 5.00pm - 6.45pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Whyalla
Saturday 29 June 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
No Sugar Coating; an update on Diabetes Management for Practice Nurses - Ceduna
Thursday 13 June 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Update for the Primary Health Care Professional - Port Lincoln
Wednesday 3 July 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Chronic Pain: Complexities and Contemporary Care - Port Augusta
Tuesday 18 June 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Augusta
Saturday 10 August 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Yorke & North Region
Time heals all wounds...or does it? - Wallaroo
Tuesday 4 June 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Rural Emergency Skills Program (RESP) - Clare
Saturday 27 July - Sunday 28 July 2019
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Yorketown
Monday 24 June 2019, 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) & the Prostate; Contemporary Management - Port Pirie
Tuesday 13 August 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Kadina
Tuesday 25 June 2019, 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Central Region
Sexually Transmitted Infections; Strategies for General Practice - Kapunda
Wednesday 5 June 2019, 6.15pm - 9.00pm
Mental Health Professional Development - Barossa 
Thursday 20 June 2019
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Tanunda
Wednesday 5 June 2019, 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Care of the Mid-life patient in Rural General Practice - Barossa
Saturday 29 June 2019, 8.30am - 4.00pm
Uncover Life as a GP - Macclesfield
Sunday 16 June 2019, 12.30pm - 4.30pm
South & East Region 
Diabetes and Your Health - Community Event - Naracoorte
Tuesday 4 June 2019, 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Register Here
Rural Practice Team Workshop - Mount Gambier
Saturday 22 June 2019, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Diabetes and Your Health - Community Event - Mount Gambier
Wednesday 5 June 2019, 10.00am - 12.00pm
Register Here
Putting Your Best Foot Forward - Mount Gambier
Thursday 27 June 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Murray Bridge
Saturday 8 June 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Mount Gambier
Saturday 13 July 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Diabetes and Your Health - Community Event - Murray Bridge
Thursday 13 June 2019, 10.00am - 12.00pm
Immunisation Update - Mount Gambier
Monday 15 July 2019, 8.30am - 4.30pm
Nurses Conference - Mount Gambier 
Thursday 20 June - Friday 21 June 2019, 9.00am - 4.00pm 
Metro Region
Flinders Motivational Interviewing and Health Behaviour Change workshop - Bedford Park
Saturday 1 June 2019, 8.30am
Use of Ultrasound in Rural Emergency Medicine - Adelaide
Saturday 20 July 2019, 1 Day Workshop
Psychosocial NDIS Communities of Practice (CoP) - Walkerville
Tuesday 4 June 2019, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Rural Emergency Skills Training (REST) - Adelaide
Saturday 3 August - Sunday 4 August 2019
Cervical Screening Training - Adelaide
Saturday 22 June 2019, 9.30am - 4.30pm
CPR for General Practice - Royston Park
Thurday 8 August 2019, 6.00pm - 9.00pm
Managing Aggressive Behaviour & Personal Safety - Royston Park
Friday 28 June 2019, 8.30am - 4.00pm
Advanced Life Support (ALS) - Adelaide
Saturday 28 September 2019
Women and Heart Disease Forum - Kensington NSW
Wednesday 19 June 2019, 9.00am - 5.00pm
ACNP 2019 National Conference - Melbourne
Monday 2 September - Thursday 5 September 2019, 8.30am - 5.00pm
Treating Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum - Sydney
Sunday 4 August 2019, 8.30pm - 5.00pm
RMA19 Conference - Gold Coast
Thursday 24 October - Saturday 26 October 2019
Navigating genomic testing in primary care: A new e-learning module
GPs will need to engage in more discussions around genomic information with patients as genomic tests become more common. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research worked with ThinkGP to develop a 1.5 hour interactive module. This RACGP and ACRRM accredited resource aims to help GPs understand genomic testing and reports, and support their patients. Click here to find out more.
NCIRS webinar -Deadly diseases: a history, and the current battle against measles 
Tuesday 4 June 2019, 12.00pm AEST
This seminar/webinar, available to all health professionals, will cover the history of the human battle against deadly diseases and the current measles threat.
Visit the NCIRS website for further information and to register.
Beckwith Park, 30 Tanunda Road, Nuriootpa SA 5355
PO Box 868, Nuriootpa SA 5355
T  08 8565 8900    F  08 8311 1723

SA Rural Health Network trading as Country SA PHN.
Country SA PHN gratefully acknowledge the financial and other
support from the Australian Government Department of Health.

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