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Message from the Chair

Our second joint PHN South Australian Primary Health Care Conference (SAPHCC) was held on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June, at the Adelaide Convention Centre. 

The SAPHCC was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for primary health providers across country areas to come together and meet for some networking and shared information gathering. The plenaries and sessions were well attended and very interesting - covering the range of activities commissioned by Country SA PHN and Adelaide PHN.

It is always good to mingle with our city cousins and showcase some of the work being done with the challenges of a dispersed population and share similarities and differences in our approaches to providing services to our communities.

Day one began with mental health workshops for general practitioners and allied health professionals. The afternoon workshops centred around primary health care workforce capacity building.

The second day’s keynote presentations focussed on the conference themes of integration, innovation and collaboration in primary health to find new solutions to old problems. This was a productive session discussing experiences and ideas for primary health care providers to work together to improve the patient journey.

Overall, the importance of coming together, making face to face connections and information sharing cannot be underestimated especially for those of us working in rural and remote locations. We hope that these relationships and the momentum from the conference will continue to build and translate to tangible benefits for our country communities.
Speaker presentation videos and photo gallery can be view at

I look forward to our next state PHN conference in 2021.

SA Primary Health Care Conference 2019 Photo Gallery

2019-21 Joint Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan 

In partnership with Country Health SA LHN mental health directorate we have come together to work on integrated regional planning and service delivery to identify service gaps, shared priorities and make better use available resources to meet regional needs.
Such is the importance of achieving integrated regional planning and service delivery is that it sits within the 1st priority area of the 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. A central theme underpinning the 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is strengthening regional integration to support a more effective, person-centred service system. As such Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Local Hospital Networks (LHNs) are expected to lead regional integration activities.
For that purpose, we are pleased to release the joint PHN/LHN regional Mental health and suicide prevention plan CLICK HERE to view this foundation plan. The Plan is rich in regional voices and lived experience, focusing on shared goals of improved health outcomes for rural and remote communities in South Australia. 
“Country Health SA Mental Health Directorate is proud to be involved in supporting this initiative by Country SA PHN which will contribute better mental health outcomes for country residents.” Mr Umit Agis, Director of Mental health strategy and Operations for CHSALHN
CSAPHN’s primary purpose in developing a Foundation Plan is to assist in a smooth transition towards our new State Local Health Network (LHN) re-structure in mid-2019. The Foundation Plan is intended to support newly inaugurated regional LHNs to hit the ground running and build on the current work achieved to date with our current LHN partner Country Health SA. This Plan will form the axis on which transition and future collaboration can be based with a commitment to develop a joint Comprehensive Service Development Plan by mid-2022.
The Plan aims to help to build momentum and continue shared interest in joint regional planning so as to set a framework for ongoing activity and improved integration over time:
  • Continue to jointly address identified gaps and deliver on regional priorities and drive evidence-based service to address those needs for regional South Australia;
  • Further integrate mental health and suicide prevention services and pathways for people with or at risk of mental illness or suicide through a whole of systems approach; and
  • Set out collaboration and integration opportunities so as to meet short and long-term mental health and suicide prevention objectives identified across the State and, in some cases, suggest mechanisms by which these objectives can be jointly identified and owned moving forward.
“The key to achieving genuine system transformation  is  through the  development  of  strong  regional  partnerships  that  underpin  and  facilitate  joint regional  needs  analysis and planning. Our partnership with CHSA LHN was an important step in this journey which will continue through this plan into the new State LHN environment” Mr Reg Harris, Director of Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drugs CHSAPHN.

Chronic Non-cancer Pain in Adults Pathway 

The Chronic Non-cancer Pain in Adults pathway underwent months of development, with a robust consultation process, to best align with current state-wide model of care and local treatment options. 
This pathway was developed in collaboration with local pain specialists to provide an easy to follow step by step guide on how to approach the management of chronic pain patients in South Australia.  

“Management of chronic pain is a challenging issue to navigate for GP’s. The pathway combines easy to follow clinical advice with links to resources for patient self-management, as well as links to community resources and key referral pathways in South Australia. 

It is particularly difficult in the remote location in which I work, to know who to refer to and when to consider referral.  This pathway finally makes these things clear. I am sure that other GPs will find this pathway as useful as I have in developing it” - Dr Simon Lockwood (rural GP, Roxby Downs and GP Clinical Editor HealthPathways SA). 
The pathway provides information on:
  • The approach to the patient with chronic pain
  • Assessment advice
  • Self-management resources for those with chronic pain
  • Team management considerations
  • The efficacy of different medications and treatment options
  • What to do before referring a patient
  • When to refer, to whom to refer and the criteria for referral.
  • The pathway provides links to public as well as private options for specialist care
Find out more or register for a login today Register Here. Already have a log in? Check out Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Adults pathway today. 

Practice Health Profile Booket and CDM & MBS Item Number Booklet are available from CSAPHN practice support team
Practice Health Profile
The Practice Health Profile (PHP) is prepared for practices that are currently submitting their de-identified data to Country SA PHN. 
The PHP allows analysis of your data and can assist with identifying areas for improvement in your practice leading to better patient outcomes and meeting accreditation requirements.
Chronic Disease Management & MBS Item Number Booklet 

A current and up to date Chronic Disease Management & MBS Item Number Booklet is available covering all commonly used CDM and MBS Item numbers in general practice.

Practice Support Update - Quality Improvement in General Practice
The Practice Support Team will be supporting general practices with the ongoing use of the PenCS CAT 4 software suite provided to practices by Country SA PHN. The extended range of data management tools by PenCS include programs that work together to allow a unique interface, with a multifaceted view of a practice’s health data. 

What are the benefits to your practice? 
Immediate potential benefits of using the PenCS CAT 4 software suite in your practice may include:
  • Enhanced data quality and safety
  • Efficient management of your patient population
  • Effective identification and monitoring of high-risk patients or specific target groups
  • Demonstration of improved patient outcomes
  • Encouragement for pro-active health care and preventive and early intervention activities
  • Assistance in meeting accreditation standards and practice incentive payment (PIP) requirements such as the eHealth PIP and the new PIP QI commencing on the 1st August 2019
  • Better quality practice data i.e. completeness of practice’s clinical data will be improved
  • Easy identification of previously unseen gaps and opportunities for improvement
  • Ability to monitor and track change over time demonstrating systematic quality improvement initiatives within your practice
Data quality tools may be most effective when used within a systematic quality improvement approach, working as an adjunct to the clinical software from which they create clinical extracts for in-practice analysis. 

Congratulations to the State winners of the RACGP Awards Recognising excellence in general practice 
GP of the Year 
Dr David Lam, Lincoln Medical Centre 
General Practice Supervisor of the Year
Dr Raphael Torome, Bamera Medical Centre 
General Practice of the Year
Hawkins Medical Clinic

Free accredited online training for GPs working with young people
headspace has developed training modules that are engaging, interactive, and evidence informed, with a range of interesting cases. The training also links to helpful clinical resources, including videos of consultations and interviews with GPs, other experts and young people.

All modules have a mental health component and address specific considerations for treating young people who identify as coming from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, or as LGBTIQ+. To access the training modules click here.

World Hepatitis Day 2019 calls for all primary care providers to be proactive in their vital role in Viral Hepatitis elimination in Australia
With effective viral hepatitis treatments available to help manage hepatitis B and cure hepatitis C, Australia is leading the way to a future without viral hepatitis. With close to half a million Australians living with chronic hepatitis B and C, it is likely there is someone who attends your practice living with hepatitis. It is vital for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test and diagnose people living with hepatitis, to enable treatment to start early enough to halt serious liver damage. Read more...

Viral Hepatitis Notification Referral System

Primary care has a vital role to play in preventing adverse outcomes related to chronic viral hepatitis, in the first instance through consistent screening of high risk groups. Through the viral hepatitis notification referral system established by SA Health, GPs can be confident that they will be offered support tailored to their requirements and the needs of the patient, to ensure that every diagnosis of viral hepatitis in SA will receive the best possible care for their infection.
From June 2019, the Communicable Disease Control Branch will routinely refer notifications of positive hepatitis B and hepatitis C pathology tests to SA Health Viral Hepatitis Clinical Practice Consultants, enabling these specialist nurses to contact diagnosing clinicians and if required, offer support to facilitate the follow up of patients and contacts and the provision of guideline based care. For more information, please visit SA Health website.

Multi-million dollar mental health funding for SA rural and regional towns

Applications are open for up to 10 years of mental health funding and support for towns in rural and regional South Australia. The multi-million dollar Our Town funding will see the Fay Fuller Foundation partnering with towns for up to a decade to tackle their mental health challenges. 

Our Town funding is for towns with populations of approximately 10,000 people or less, or clusters of towns with combined populations of less than 10,000 people. 
Aplications close on Monday 5 August 2019, for further information contact Lisa Toole on or 1800 951 062.

Butterfly call out for practitioners and community services with an understanding of eating disorders
With additional Medicare support for eating disorders coming into effect on 1 November this year, Butterfly Foundation is calling for services, practitioners and community service providers with an understanding of eating disorders to apply for inclusion on their referral database. 

Research in primary care: reproductive coercion and abuse

Reproductive coercion is an under-recognised form of control and abuse experienced by Australian women. GPs and nurses needed to help improve outcomes for women.  Sabotaging contraception, pressuring/forcing women to become pregnant, pressuring/forcing women to terminate a pregnancy or continue an unwanted pregnancy are all forms of reproductive coercion (RC).
GP’s and nurses working in primary care are very likely to have encountered patients experiencing RC and we would like to hear from youParticipation involves a once off 20-30 minute phone interview with a researcher from the University of Melbourne discussing your thoughts and experiences. 
Please contact Molly to participate or for more information 

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.

Measles vaccination catch-up guide, Australia has experienced an increase in reported measles cases in 2019, associated with a 300% increase in cases globally. NCIRS has developed a guide to assist immunisation providers with decisions regarding measles vaccination catch-up for the Australian community, download the resource here.
Brief Survey: Guidelines for the treatment of Alcohol Problems, University of Sydney Discipline of Addiction Medicine (led by Professor Paul Haber) invites you to complete a brief 5-minute survey about the next edition of the Guidelines for the treatment of Alcohol Problems. For more information and to take part in the survey click here
Build your confidence in end of life care with ELDAC, do you know how to recognise deterioration in your residents? Do you know what evidence based assessment tools can be used to assess palliative symptoms for your residents?

End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) is a free, government-funded resource. The Residential Aged Care toolkit connects you with evidence-based tools in palliative care.
Chlamydia management in general practice survey, if you’re a GP working in Australian general practice, researchers at the University of Melbourne would like to hear about your chlamydia management practices and your opinion on some proposed strategies to support care of patients with a chlamydia infection. Complete this short 20 minute survey to be in a draw for one of ten $100 gift cards. To participate:
Be Winter well with asthma, many people experience an increase in asthma symptoms and find their asthma harder to control during Winter. Asthma Australia has developed a range of resources on the website to help people with asthma to be Winter well, including a checklist to better manage asthma during this season. 
Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition, Comcare recognises the critical role General Practitioners (GPs) play in helping people with ill health or injury to recover and participate in work. To support this role, we have produced a new resource for GPs on assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition
Cervical Screening Test –– Information about self-collection, many South Australian women are currently not up to date with cervical screening. Self-collection may be a suitable alternative for women who are 30 or over and who are not already participating in regular cervical screening. More information is available on the Cervical screening for health providers web page.
Charter of Aged Care Rights online resources to support the sector’s understanding of the new Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter) are available on the department’s website. Some hard copies of the resources will also be available shortly, you can order limited numbers of these by emailing the distributor directly at
Women’s menstrual health and wellbeing Survey at Deakin University, we are studying women’s menstrual health and wellbeing. Participate in this important survey and help us learn more. It’s quick. It’s confidential. You could win 1 of 5 $100 gift vouchers. To participate, please click here
The Blood Service Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be in Minlaton on Tuesday 2 July to Wednesday 3 July, in Mount Barker on Tuesday 2 July to Thursday 5 July, Gawler on Monday 8 July to Thursday 11 July and Victor Harbor on Monday 22 July to Thursday 25 July 2019.

For more professional development opportunities go to
North & West Region
Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Update for the Primary Health Care Professional - Port Lincoln
Wednesday 3 July 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Cervical Screening Provider Course - Port Augusta
Tuesday 13 August 2019, 8.30pm - 5.00pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Augusta
Wednesday 24 July 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Immunisation Practice in Primary Health Care - Port Lincoln
Tuesday 20 August 2019, 8.30am - 1.00pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Whyalla
Thursday 25 July 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Lincoln
Saturday 9 November 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Yorke & North Region
Rural Emergency Skills Program (RESP) - Clare
Saturday 27 July - Sunday 28 July 2019
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Pirie
Saturday 12 October 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) & the Prostate; Contemporary Management - Port Pirie
Tuesday 13 August 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
South & East Region 
Immunisation Update - Mount Gambier
Monday 15 July 2019, 8.30am - 4.30pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Mount Gambier
Wednesday 14 August 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Recreational Drugs – Patient Harm Reduction Management - Mount Gambier
Tuesday 6 August 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Berri
Wednesday 18 September 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Metro Region
Use of Ultrasound in Rural Emergency Medicine - Adelaide
Saturday 20 July 2019, 1 Day Workshop
Introduction to Immunisation - Ridleyton
Wednesday 14 August 2019, 8.30am - 5.00pm
Certificate in Infant Mental Health - Glenside
Every Wednesday 24 July - 25 September 2019 (10 weeks), 3.00pm - 6.00pm Register Here
CPR for General Practice - Royston Park
Thurday 8 August 2019, 6.00pm - 9.00pm
Rural Emergency Skills Training (REST) - Adelaide
Saturday 3 August - Sunday 4 August 2019
Advanced Life Support (ALS) - Adelaide
Saturday 28 September 2019
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2019 - Melbourne
Monday 22 July to Thursday 25 July 2019
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
Absolute CVD Risk Assessments Webinar
The main focus of the webinar discussion was new MBS item on absolute CVD risk, practical implementation, what is still outstanding in this space with respect to national guidance and the evidence base The recorded webinar video is now available on the website here
RACGP eHealth Webinar Series 
The webinars are free and accessible to all. RACGP members received two Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points for attendance, but they are open to all health providers who may find the topics of interest. to access the webinars go to RACGP eHealth webinar series.
Aged Care Quality Reform Webinar
This webinar, delivered jointly with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, addressed key aged care quality reforms being implemented from 1 July 2019. View Here
National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program Webinar
The National Quality Indicator Program webinar provided a technical overview of the National Quality Indicator Program. View Here
Antecedents of Renal Disease in Aboriginal Children & Young People (ARDAC) Study Webinar
Guidelines for the management of chronic kidney disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori Webinar
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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