View this in your browser

Visit our Website

Message from the CEO
As we are all coming to terms with the devastating bushfires that have ravaged many parts of Australia our thoughts at this time are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by the crisis. Our condolences and thoughts are particularly with those who have lost loved ones. 

These bushfires have had an immediate toll on individuals and communities directly affected by this unprecedented disaster but the ongoing effects will continue to be felt in the days, months and years to follow.
It’s also important to note that we can all feel affected, albeit in different ways, by this tragedy. There is no one appropriate response.
Many Australians are feeling overwhelmed and sad about the bushfires even though we may not be directly affected. Just watching and absorbing this tragedy is emotionally challenging for us all. 
As an organisation Country SA PHN has felt the devastation of communities in our region - the fires in the Adelaide Hills, on Kangaroo Island and those in the South East have had direct impacts on communities we engage with, know well and support on a daily basis.
As such, Country SA PHN will be implementing additional mental health services as we receive funding over two years to administer the Federal Government’s Supporting the Mental Health of Australians Affected by Bushfires measure.

These Bushfire Recovery Access Initiatives will fund a range of activities some of which include: Frontline Distress and Trauma Counselling; additional Child and Youth mental health support services provided by headspace; community grants and additional support for existing mental health services. 

To ensure these services get to those who need them in a timely manner we will be working collaboratively with State and Local Government, Services Australia, the Red Cross and other peak bodies, existing service providers and local communities. 

We have all witnessed the remarkable way our bushfire affected communities have rallied and supported each other in this time of crisis and the generosity of Australians from all around the country wanting to help. The resilience of our South Australian communities in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island has epitomised the care and concern of our strong communities as they’ve come together to support each other. This community care will continue to provide the backbone in the challenging times ahead.

As an organisation we have felt the generosity of our community as we have been inundated with various offers of support including clinicians offering their services. To help coordinate these offers we have a link to register on our website. We thank you for your generosity and patience and we will be in touch.

It is early days and we will continue to keep our communities and service providers abreast of developments and updates as information comes to hand. It is a long road to recovery but as an organisation we are privileged to be able to assist this process and our South Australian communities emotional wellbeing.
If you require immediate support:
Regional Access – free professional telephone and online counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people 15 years and older living or working in regional South Australia. or call 1300 032 186
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline – for children under 12 years 1800 551 800

Updated Novel Coronavirus Information 
Australia is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 

The latest health alert from SA Health CDCB is available here.
Up-to-date information regarding the Novel Coronavirus can be found at: 
Advice for Health Professionals
Health professionals across the sector are being asked to watch out for signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection in patients who may have travelled to the affected area.  

Reported symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Sore throat and headache have also been reported. 

In suspected cases, health professionals should: 
  • Place a surgical mask on the patient and take them to an isolated room
  • Use standard, contact and droplet precautions: e.g. a disposable fluid resistant gown, gloves, P2/N95 surgical mask, and eye protection while reviewing the patient and collecting any samples
  • Contact and follow advice from SA Health regarding pathology collection and testing procedures and notification requirements
Masks for General Practice
The Commonwealth Department of Health has made surgical masks available from the national stockpile for distribution to general practice via PHNs across Australia.  

The masks are intended for general practices in areas where there are shortages and practices are unable to obtain stocks commercially. 

Country SA PHN general practices can request masks via the Mask Request Form.

As there is a limited supply, a default
allocation of 50 masks will be sent per request. If a larger allocation is required, please provide additional information to support the request in the comments section of the form.
Masks for Pharmacy
CSAPHN can only supply masks to General Practice at this time. Pharmacies are advised to retain their own stocks of masks for use with customers who may present with symptoms. 

If a pharmacy in an affected area has no stocks remaining for use with customers and cannot obtain stocks commercially, they should contact the National Incident Room in the Department of Health by email to setting out the circumstances.   

Health Pathways South Australia: Smoking Cessation Advice
Smoking is increasingly seen as essential targets for intervention in general practice, hospital, and community health services as part of efforts to reduce or manage preventable ‘lifestyle’ health problems. 
The smoking cessation advice pathway is now 'live' and available to clinicians. 
GP Clinical Editor Dr Muazzam Rifat says, ‘the new pathway provides easy to use and evidence-based guidance that can be used during consultations.  Supporting your patients with quitting will reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and lung cancers just to name a few, not to mention the savings of thousands of dollars per year to spend on other leisure's.’
Developed in collaboration with local addiction specialists from DASSA and Cancer Council SA, the pathway allows clinicians to access:
Assessments and investigations options
Brief intervention approaches
Pharmacotherapy considerations 
Follow up recommendations, resources and links to related pathways
Proactive referral to Quitline and local smoking cessation supports
For more information please see our Project Site or contact us on 

Point of Care Testing in General Practice: A Business Case Webinar - Registrations now open

Targeted at General Practice, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Allied Health Professionals interested in Point of Care Testing. 

Thursday 6 February 2020, 12.30 pm – 1:30 pm (Australian Central Daylight Time), presented by Danny Haydon & Ryan Buiatti. To register go to

To view Course Flyer including presenter bios please go to Australian Point of Care Practitioners Network (APPN) Website:

Recording of this webinar will be made available on the APPN website shortly after the presentation. To view the 2019 C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Webinar delivered on 12 December 2019 please go to

After Hours Flu Vaccinations Tender
Country SA PHN (CSAPHN) is seeking applications from providers to provide Flu Vaccinations in the after hours period. Funding is a one-off grant for the 2020 Flu Season with preference given to applicants servicing vulnerable populations in rural and remote locations.

CSAPHN tenders are managed on our e-Procurement Portal, TenderLink. Please ensure that you are registered on Tenderlink to gain access to this new commissioning opportunity. To use this system and access our tender documents you must first be a registered supplier; there is no charge to register and download our tender documents. To register, visit our e-Procurement portal and click the Registration button.

During the registration process you will be requested to provide contact details including an email address that will be used to notify your organisation of available tenders.

If you have any technical problems using the portal, contact TenderLink support on:
T: 1800 233 533 (business hours) or
E: (24 hours a day 7 days a week).
Please direct any general queries regarding Country SA PHN tenders to or the contact details specified in the tender documents.

Expressions of Interest - After Hours Dental Service Tender
Dental problems are the most common acute condition causing potentially preventable hospital admissions in South Australia.
Country SA PHN (CSAPHN) is seeking Expressions of Interest for innovative solutions for the provision of dental services in the after hours period. This activity is aimed at improving access to necessary dental services, with a view to preventing avoidable emergency presentations and hospital admissions, improving health outcomes for consumers, and providing a better patient experience.

CSAPHN is exploring options to provide funding for the establishment of a pilot project delivering dental services in the after hours period. Dental Practitioners are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for service provision through Tenderlink, where guidelines and the application form are available.

CSAPHN tenders are managed on our e-Procurement Portal, TenderLink. Please ensure that you are registered on Tenderlink to gain access to this new commissioning opportunity. To use this system and access our tender documents you must first be a registered supplier; there is no charge to register and download our tender documents. To register, visit our e-Procurement portal and click the Registration button.

During the registration process you will be requested to provide contact details including an email address that will be used to notify your organisation of available tenders.

If you have any technical problems using the portal, contact TenderLink support on:
T: 1800 233 533 (business hours) or
E: (24 hours a day 7 days a week).
Please direct any general queries regarding Country SA PHN tenders to or the contact details specified in the tender documents.

The MBS Booklet
This booklet is a Desktop Guide to assist General Practice staff to effectively coordinate care for patients with chronic conditions. It also provides information regarding the MBS items relevant to General Practice. The current version was updated in January 2020.

The Nurse and Medical Practice Assistant Manual
This manual is an editable policy and procedure manual for Practice Nurses. It incorporates up to date resources and information for use in General Practice. The current version was updated in November 2019.

If you would like a copy of the MBS Booklet or the Practice Nurse Manual, please contact the practice support team via:

Practice Support Update – Quality Improvement

The Practice Support team will continue to be supporting general practices with the ongoing use of the PenCS CAT 4 software suite provided to practices by Country SA PHN (CSAPHN). 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. 

As well as training offered during face to face visits; the Practice Support Team will provide ongoing training through remote sessions. If you would like one of the practice support team members to organise a site visit or remote session please email to organise a suitable time.  

The Practice Support team is conducting tailored training sessions covering the use of all the Pencs Suite of products, analysis of practice data, and implementing the Model for Improvement using the Plan Do Study Act cycles. 
PDSA cycles are a tried and tested approach to achieving successful change. It offers the following benefits: 
•  a simple approach that anyone can apply 
•  it reduces risk by starting small 
•  it can be used to help plan, develop and implement change that is highly effective. 

The Model for Improvement helps you break down your change into manageable pieces, which are then tested to ensure that the change results in measurable improvements, and that minimal effort is wasted.

Barossa Wellness Wonderland & Colour Trail
It's a FRINGE event like you've never seen before! Sunday 16 February from 7.00am. Bringing together Barossa's most generous and talented health and wellness experts to bring you a free jam-packed day of wellness!
With everything from yoga and meditation to kids activities and fitness sessions (plus deliciously healthy food and drinks), Barossa Wellness Wonderland & Colour Trail will nourish, restore and inspire you to live a healthy, more active life! For more information click here.
Come and see us at the Country SA PHN and Cancer Council SA marquee to find out more about the range of health supporting resources and strategies on offer.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Doctors’ Health SA to provide Outreach Visits to Rural Doctors

As a rural doctor the ability to find yourself a GP and look after your own health can be difficult. Geographical isolation is one barrier that prevents access to independent medical care. Finding a GP whom you do not work closely with can also be a barrier. 

Doctors’ Health SA has long recognised this issue and two years ago commenced offering a telemedicine service option for rural and remote doctors. We are now pleased to offer an additional new service, Outreach GP visits, where Doctors’ Health SA GPs are travelling to rural regions to provide comprehensive health check-ups for rural doctors. 

Appointments can be up to 2 hours long creating the opportunity to confidentially discuss any concerns you may have in a private setting.

Coordination of the first few towns are underway to the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Yorke Peninsula and South East. Doctors’ Health SA is seeking interest from all rural doctors who would like to access this service. 

For further information contact Dr Roger Sexton, Medical Director 0408 089 423 or view the webpage

To make an appointment contact Program Manager, Kiara Cannizzaro at or phone Doctors’ Health SA on 08 8232 1250.

This new service has been made possible with funding from the Country SA PHN.

Living and dying in comfort for diverse populations

No one should be excluded from receiving aged care and palliative care support, yet older people may face barriers in accessing services due to their culture, religion, finances, gender, sexuality and/or location. 

ELDAC’s new Diverse Populations webpage provide guidance and resources for health professionals and aged care workers to support palliative care and advance care planning to improve the care of older diverse Australians. Living and dying in comfort is a basic human right. Dignity. Choice. Respect.

Save the Date! Influenza information sessions for immunisation providers

In collaboration with peak bodies, two information sessions have been scheduled for Tuesday 3 March 2020, 9.30am to 12.00pm and Tuesday 10 March 2020, 6.00pm to 8.30pm at the Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens (Corner of South Terrace and Peacock Road).
Proposed topics to include details of the SA Influenza Program, Infection Control and Influenza Disease. Final program and registration details will be available soon.

Better Medical - GP Opportunities
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, DPA and non-DPA.  Well established mixed / private billing.  Opportunities in clinics located in Mt Barker and Strathalbyn with excellent nursing and administrative support.  
For further information and a confidential discussion, please contact Amy Sissman on 08 8391 2055 or
Southern Fleurieu Family Practice - Senior Practice Nurse
The Southern Fleurieu Family Practice is a leading rural GP medical clinic based in Yankalilla, on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. We are very excited to announce, due to growth the opportunity for an experienced Senior Practice Nurse to lead our clinical nursing program and team.
Please apply by email to Amanda Jurado, Practice Manager ( For more information please visit our website at or phone (08) 8558 0111. A position description is available on request.

The Blood Service Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be in Mount Gambier on Monday 3 February to Friday 7 February, in Clare on Wednesday 12 February to Friday 14 February, in Murray Bridge on Monday 17 February to Thursday 20 February, in Naracoorte on Monday 24 February to Thursday 27 February and in Port Augusta on Tuesday 25 February to Friday 28 February 2020.
What are the barriers and facilitators to rural General Practitioners taking on high acuity caseloads? Researchers from Flinders University are looking for General Practitioners who have worked in a Rural or Remote region of South Australia, to participate in a 45-minute interview. If you are interested, please contact Sinead Turner on for further information.
Bushfire season and your asthma patients, persistent bushfire smoke has affected many parts of Australia this summer, bringing an increased risk of asthma flare-ups. It’s crucial to speak with your asthma patients about managing their symptoms, good asthma care and control, and steps they can take during bushfire season. For detailed information on how to help your asthma patients during bushfire season visit the National Asthma Council website.
Preventing Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, new guidelines for the prevention of congenital CMV infection were published by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) in March 2019. These guidelines recommend that all women who are pregnant, or trying to conceive, should receive information about CMV prevention as part of routine antenatal or pre-pregnancy practice. To learn more about CMV visit
Plus Paternal: A Focus on Fathers Website which aims to improve the health of men and their children in Australia. The Plus Paternal Project will examine men’s experiences and health needs on their journeys to fatherhood from preconception to early parenting, for more information click here.
New Measles fact sheet and checklist to support GPs and practice teams in response to an increased number of measles cases presenting at Australian general practices after international outbreaks. The fact sheet and checklist are available via the RACGP website.
Recruiting GPs for Research Study on Early AFib Detection, a multiple stakeholders study. This study is being conducted by researchers from the University of Wollongong who would like to interview GPs about AF screening practices and direct-to-consumer technologies (e.g. Apple Watch ECG) used for AF detection. This study is not funded by Apple or any other commercial interest, for more information click here.
NDIS Registration Support Website, Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has been supported by the NDIS Commission to assist allied health professionals with the new registration process. AHPA has recently launched a new website to do just that. The NDIS Registration Support website for allied health providers can be found at

For more professional development opportunities go to
North & West Region
Syphilis Update in Rural SA - Coober Pedy
Tuesday 18 February 2020, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Building your skills in acute suicide management - Port Augusta
Tuesday 17 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Dermatology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Port Lincoln
Friday 21 February 2020, from 7.00pm
Syphilis Update in Rural SA - Ceduna
Wednesday 18 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.30pm 
Building your skills in acute suicide management - Port Lincoln
Tuesday 25 February 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Central Region
Health Professional Update - Arthritis Aware - Mount Barker
Thursday 20 February 2020, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Success Factors for a Mentally Healthy Workplace - Mount Barker
Thursday 5 March 2020, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Mental Health Medical Professional Development Workshop - Nuriootpa
Thursday 27 February 2020, from 7.00pm
Aged Care – Cognition, Consent and Care of the Older Patient - Victor Harbor
Thursday 26 March 2020, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Yorke & North Region
Cardiology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Wallaroo
Monday 17 February 2020, from 7.00pm
South & East Region
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Training for General Practice - Mount Gambier
Wednesday 12 February 2020, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Mount Gambier
Wednesday 19 February 2020, 6.00pm - 7.00pm 
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Keith
Tuesday 18 February 2020, 11.00am - 12.00pm
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Kingston SE
Thursday 20 February 2020, 11.00am - 12.00pm 
Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow - Naracoorte
Tuesday 18 February 2020, 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Cardiology Medical Professional Development Workshop - Mount Gambier
Tuesday 10 March 2020, from 7.00pm
Metro Region
Pregnancy Choices Training - Woodville
Monday 2 March to Tuesday 3 March 2020, 8.30am - 5.30pm
Flinders Chronic Condition Management (CCM) Program - Bedford Park
Monday 30 March to Tuesday 31 March 2020
Introduction to Sexual & Reproductive Health Workshop - Woodville
Tuesday 17 March 2020, 9.00am - 5.00pm
Advanced Training in Suicide Prevention - McLaren Vale
Saturday 2 May 2020, 9.00am - 5.00pm
Contraceptive Implant (Implanon NXT) Training for Rural and Remote Doctors - Woodville
Saturday 28 March 2020
Revisiting Aboriginal Wellbeing – a Celebration of Regional Partnerships - Angourie NSW
Tuesday 18 February to Wednesday 19 February 2020, 8.30am - 4.30pm
2020 Australian Pain Society 40th Annual Scientific Meeting - Hobart
Sunday 5 April 2020 to Wednesday 8 April 2020
AICG Patient Safety & Quality Care Symposium - Victoria
'Connecting Clinicians' is the central theme of the 2020 Symposium.
Thursday 26 March 2020 Register Here
7th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium - Alice Springs
Monday 25 May to Tuesday 26 May 2020
Wound Management: Foundations and Principles
The program will enable healthcare professionals to develop foundational knowledge and skills required to assess, manage and prevent wounds in primary healthcare. Register Here
Understanding Dementia - Online Course
This world-leading online course is free, easily accessible and available to everyone with an interest in dementia. Opens Tuesday 18 February 2020, 9:00am (AEDT) for 7 weeks
Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse 
Thursday 6 February 2020, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Online Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training
Intake 1 - Monday 10 February to Friday 15 May 2020

Gender Wellbeing Service Country Extension Program Community Survey
Recently the Country SA PHN has provided Shine SA with funding for a Gender Wellbeing Service Country Extension Program. This service will support gender diverse people in remote areas, with an out of hours peer support service. During the planning of this service Shine SA are wanting to learn about the needs of community members who might use this program, through this online survey.

The survey is for people living in rural or remote areas of SA, both in the gender diverse community and their supporters (e.g family, GP's, teachers etc).

The survey is anonymous, and you can exit at any time. If you have questions about this program please email Oliver at SHINE SA
Research study on allied health in palliative aged care
End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) at Flinders University are running a study looking at the role of allied health professionals providing palliative care for older Australians in residential and community aged care.
If you are an allied health professional working in aged care and would like to participate, please click here. The survey takes about 10-20 minutes to complete. 

For more information, please refer to the Participant Information Sheet embedded as a link in the survey or if you have any questions, please contact Dr Kelly Jones by email
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.
Click here to update your subscription preferences.