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Message from the CEO
Local Health Clusters (LHCs) are at the heart of Country SA PHN. The clusters engage with their communities to inform us about local health priorities and to make sure commissioned services are locally relevant, patient centred, cost effective and aligned to existing local care. 

LHCs provide communities with the opportunity to help shape local health services. We recognise the broad range of perspectives and experience that cluster members provide to our PHN. This is particularly important to us as a regional and remote PHN – covering 99.8% of the state geographically. 
It is important that our LHCs are empowered to self-manage their cluster to ensure that the decisions we make as a PHN are supporting our overall aim of bridging the gap in health inequity for rural and remote South Australians. 
Our Community Collaborations Manager, Brenton Chappell, is busy traversing our region and making sure our LHC network provides as many rural and remote South Australians with the chance to add their perspective to the health care needs of their community as possible. We have recently welcomed a new cluster the Upper South East LHC - based in Naracoorte and we’re currently working on another located in the Riverland. This will take our total number of clusters in the network to 10 with a diverse membership base of approximately 500 community members. LHCs now cover the following regions:

- Barossa Valley
- Far West (West Coast)
- Lower Eyre
- Upper Eyre
- Roxby Downs
- Yorke Peninsula
- Mid North
- Riverland
- Lower South East
- Upper South East

Recently the Small Grants Program offered $7,000 to successful LHCs - from little things, big things grow. These grants were used for a diverse range of locally relevant programs including: educating young people about responsible alcohol consumption; mental health literacy; podcasting lived experience in mental health and promoting health and wellness messages through community radio.
One of the ways the LHCs support their communities and communicate is through an on-line feedback and engagement platform via the Health Connections Community website. I encourage you to jump on board to find out what’s happening in your LHC and to help shape the health and wellbeing of your community by becoming a member. 

Now available on HealthPathways SA – Syphilis and Chlamydia 
Along with Syphilis and Chlamydia pathways, new service listings pages have also been developed including; acute and non-acute sexual health and infectious disease assessment, sexual health advice, acute obstetric assessment and paediatric ophthalmology assessment.

HealthPathways responding to local health needs. 
There are ongoing infectious syphilis outbreaks in Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Cases of infectious syphilis continue to be diagnosed in outbreak regions, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females aged 15-29 years of age.

The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, recently approved the listing of benzathine benzylpenicillin (Bicillin L-A) on the Emergency Drug Supply Schedule (Prescriber's Bag) effective from 1 September 2019.1 Chlamydia continues to be the most common STI diagnosed in SA and so ensuring the condition is appropriately managed is vital. Remember: neonatal ocular or other infections can be slight or life-threatening. For updated information about the diagnosis and management of Syphilis and Chlamydia visit the HealthPathways portal. 

Access to HealthPathways SA is free and easy. Find out more or register for a login today: Register Here​ Already have a log in? Check out the new, Syphilis and Chlamydia pathways today. 

1 The Department of Health – Infectious Syphilis Outbreak

Point of Care Testing Meeting
Point of care testing is gaining ground as an effective tool to support the management of chronic and other conditions in the general practice setting. On the 29 March 2019, the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) advised that it was supportive of MBS listing of HbA1c Point of Care Testing (PoCT) for the management and monitoring of established diabetes mellitus, including in pregnancy (implementation with some qualifications).   

This is a major win for mainstream general practices, particularly those that provide care to people living in rural and remote Australia but also for any GP who is assisting patients with unstable diabetes. At this point, baby steps are the way to go, even though diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus supported by PoCT has been effectively in place in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for some 20 years.

In 2018, Country SA PHN commissioned Brentnalls to develop a business case and analysis tools for use by general practice to assess the viability for implementation.  The launch of this work and other session on understanding the use and future of PoCT, are key messages of the Point of Care Testing Scientific Education Meeting in Adelaide on Monday 14 October 2019. For more information or to register click here.

Women’s Health Week September 2019
Country SA PHN’s Central team discussed with several general practices the opportunity to identifying key health promotion options during Women’s Health Week.

Six general practices came on board (Littlehampton Medical Centre; Greater Fleurieu Medical Centre; Murray Bridge Day and Night Surgery; Mount Compass Surgery; Summit Health / GP Care; Hahndorf Family Medical Centre) with offers to display resources, with two of the practices committing to a dedicated information table.

Alexandrina Council’s Julianne Rilestone, Community Services Program Officer expressed a desire to promote women’s health in the Yankalilla community outreach program. 

Mount Barker Community Centre were also keen to support Women’s Health Week in their foyer.  Since moving to their new premises, attending numbers have grown exponentially, with requests for access to information and local services. 

Each of these activities were registered on the ‘Jean Hailes – For Women’s Health’ website and were provided resources to support the events. Along with the resources from Jean Hailes, CSAPHN provided handouts on related services within the region. At the conclusion of Women’s Health Week, the Central team contacted each general practice to gather feedback. 

‘Many women did not know that there was a specific Women’s Health week.  Many enjoyed the resources and information, and targeted topics each day, which we also promoted for them to visit the website.‘ 

‘Fantastic! We needed more resources and are continuing with this event for the month.  We will be taking the resources to a Fleurieu Business Network meeting to continue to promote.‘

‘The number of women and men that were interested in the different array of resources was the best thing about hosting Women’s Health Week.’

‘I was aware that a local Yoga teacher is interested in holding classes at the venue that we used for our event and I was also aware that club Fleurieu, the venue, are keen to promote membership, so I put them together and we promoted through their networks and Council’s.

A highlight was the promotional table in Hahndorf High Street with Hahndorf Family Practice’s Laura Mucci attending. Over 120 resource kits were handed out to local, interstate and international women. Laura was able to speak with a medical student who was unaware of Women’s Health Week and who is contacting Laura in the future in regard to placement. 
Having specific ‘Mums and bubs’ bags were a hit for younger women, whilst those of a more mature age connected with menopausal information and incontinence information. Luckily Laura could advise them of a pelvic floor program planned at her practice.

SA Health’s electronic medical record arrives at Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service
GPs and community pharmacists are advised that SA Health is implementing its electronic medical record at Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service (MGDHS) and associated Country Health Connect sites.

The electronic medical record (EMR) used in South Australia is called Sunrise EMR & PAS. It is a state-based system that replaces the need for paper-based documentation. On Tuesday, 17 September 2019, the EMR was successfully activated at MGDHS. 
The EMR is now the primary clinical and administrative system for documenting and managing patient care.

Once fully implemented during October 2019, MGDHS will become the second regional hospital after Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health Service to use the system.

For GPs, the EMR may provide additional tools to assist you in providing patient care. It could also be beneficial for you to understand the interaction between Sunrise EMR and the My Health Record systems.
Please visit the SA Health website for useful resources and information including: The new Sunrise EMR training requirements for GPs and clinicians who provide services to MGDHS; How Sunrise EMR automatically shares certain information, such as Discharge Summaries, to a patient’s My Health Record if they have one; Changes in appearance and dosing instructions on Sunrise-generated pharmaceutical prescriptions.

For further information about Sunrise EMR, please email or visit the SA Health website at

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training for General Practice 
35 GPs, Practice Nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers recently attended the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training for General Practice workshop in Port Lincoln presented by Dr Vicki Bennett and Devinia Binell.

The workshop provided participants with an understanding of the common health issues impacting Aboriginal patients, communication and doctor/patient interaction, undertake assessment of potential barriers to care, articulate an understanding of Aboriginal history, value, belief systems, experiences and lifestyle and a focus on Practice Incentive Program (PIP) billing for general practice. 

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) 2019 SA&NT GP of the Year Award

Dr David Lam, a GP at Lincoln Medical Centre in Port Lincoln, has been awarded the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) 2019 SA&NT GP of the Year Award. He now goes into the running along with the finalists in other states for the 2019 National GP of the Year Award to be announced in October.

“It’s my passion to make sure young people in rural areas have just as many opportunities to grow up safe and well as young people anywhere else in Australia. All Australians should receive the same treatment and healthcare regardless of age, gender, race or postcode. Making this happen is my goal as a rural GP on the Eyre Peninsula and lecturer at the University of Adelaide Medical School. 
Winning the SA&NT GP of the Year is humbling because I’m not originally from Port Lincoln and yet the community has embraced me and put me up for this award. So thank you everyone” said David.

“It is a great honour for David to have one this award. He is Port Lincoln’s first medical student that has come back as a fully accredited GP. We are very proud of him and happy to have him back.” says Kay Ajao Senior Partner, Lincoln Medical Centre. 

Division of General Psychological Practice Award (2019) 
Lana-Joy Durik, Pyschologist Smiles all Around (a psychological services in Naracoorte), was awarded the Division of General Psychology Practice Award. The APS Division of General Psychological Practice Award (2019) recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to general psychological practice. 
Lana-Joy's work includes the extended hours group programs and workshops funded by Country SA PHN. The program complement the existing one on one psychological support, with the development of a workshop series tailored to common mental health needs represented in the region. 
For example, one of the current programs, “Growing Resilient Kids: Managing Anxiety and Bouncing Back when Things Go Wrong”, is offered in various locations and formats (E.g., Classroom wide, parent and child group sessions, onsite therapy sessions, online remotely etc).  
The group based approach has various benefits including; increasing the capacity to assist more community members, reduce waiting times, lower intensity support, reduced costs per community member, clients receive strategies more quickly before commencing official one on one psychology support and in some cases one on one therapy time and therefore costs are reduced.

Orientation to General Practice Packages for Nurses
Do you need additional support as a general practice nurse? Country SA PHN are offering a limited number of Orientation to General Practice Packages for nurses who would like additional support in their role as a general practice nurse. If you’ve recently commenced a nursing role in general practice, or feel you would benefit from additional support, apply now for this opportunity. Click here for more information and to apply. 

Applications will close when the maximum number of applications are reached. Applicants will be notified via phone by Thursday October 31. 

Understanding LGBTIQ 

Many of those who work within the health profession have the desire to practise inclusively, to use the right terminology and to be accepting of sexual and gender diversity – but don’t feel they have the knowledge, skills or confidence to do this.

This online course provides an overview of the key concepts for people working with LGBTIQ individuals.

Health professionals working in country SA can access this course at no cost thanks to support from Country SA PHN (eligibility criteria apply). Go to

Better Medical - GP Opportunities
GP opportunities for full or part-time positions. Join an innovative and forward thinking group of clinics, which highly values quality care and clinical autonomy with a community focus.

For further information and a confidential discussion, please contact Amy Sissman on 08 8391 2055 or
Better Medical - Locum VR GP 
An exciting opportunity for a VR GP to locum across our 19 (and growing) clinics Australia-wide. With clinics across the Adelaide Hills and city, Brisbane and Tasmania we are in need of a GP to support our practice doctors by filling vacancies across our clinics. 
For further information and a confidential discussion, please contact Amy Sissman on 08 8391 2055 or
GP VR ED for Rural Hospital 
Between August 2019 and February 2020 - Range of Shifts 8am-8pm; 6pm-8am; 8pm-8am. Port Lincoln hospital is looking for a GP VR with extensive rural and Emergency Department experience to provide services to the community. 

To have a confidential conversation about this vacancy, please contact Carly or Sara at Australian Medical Placements on 08 8333 5666 or email 

Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease App, GPs and nurse practitioners/practice nurses can download the free phone App which includes a diagnosis calculator and quick-reference guide to the Australian Guideline for the diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. 
STI and BBV control in remote communities: Clinical practice and resource manual has been developed by SAHMRI as part of the Young Deadly Free project. 
A new NCIRS fact sheet – Hepatitis B vaccines for Australians has been developed for healthcare professionals. 
Working with the Stepped Care Model: Mental health services through general practice resource is available click here to download a copy.
Media release on the use of e-cigarettes, a media statement from Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer and jurisdictional Chief Health Officers’ relating to the use of e-cigarettes and reports of severe lung disease (including deaths) reported from the United States. Click here for the media release.
Selective reporting of antimicrobials factsheet has been developed to promote the Selective Reporting of Antimicrobials guidelines, click here for a copy of the factsheet or to download the guidelines click here.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for foot ulcers survey has been developed to obtain views on the value of hyperbaric oxygen therapy from a wide variety of practitioners as a means to clarify whether there is indeed controversy on its value as a possible based from a well-designed large randomized trial to clarify its exact role. Click the link to complete the survey
The Blood Service Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be in Mount Barker on Tuesday 1 October to Friday 4 October, in Minlaton on Tuesday 1 October to Wednesday 2 October, in Gawler on Tuesday 8 October to Friday 11 October, in Port Pirie on Monday 14 October to Thursday 17 October, in Victor Harbour on Monday 21 October to Thursday 24 October and in Naracoorte on Monday 28 October to Thursday 31 October 2019.
12 clinical tools recommended by ELDACEnd of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) has identified twelve clinical tools,  used consistently within the Primary Care toolkits, to help you recognise end of life and assess palliative care needs for older Australians and caregivers. Find out more about the ELDAC Clinical Tools click here.

For more professional development opportunities go to
North & West Region
"Putting Your Best Foot Forward" Diabetic Foot Assessment Update - Ceduna
Tuesday 15 October 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Lincoln
Saturday 9 November 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Managing Personality Disorders: an integrated approach - Port Augusta
Wednesday 9 October 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health training for General Practice - Whyalla
Wednesday 13 November 2019, 6.00pm - 9.00pm
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health training for General Practice - Port Augusta
Wednesday 30 October 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm

Yorke & North Region
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Workshop - Port Pirie
Saturday 12 October 2019, 6.00pm - 9.30pm
Rashes in Kids Paediatric Dermatology - Clare
Friday 8 November 2019
Central Region
Rural Healthy Doctors Dinner Seminar - Stirling
Wednesday 30 October 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
South & East Region
An Introduction To Working With Individuals Who Have Self-Destructive Behaviours - Murray Bridge
Thursday 3 October - Friday 4 October 2019
Anaesthetics Dinner Meeting - Murray Bridge
Thursday 17 October 2019, for more information contact 
Cardiology update: contemporary heart failure management - Naracoorte
Tuesday 8 October 2019, Time TBA
Immunisation Practice in Primary Healthcare - Mount Gambier
Tuesday 22 October 2019, 8.30am - 1.00pm
Stress: Friend or Foe? - Naracoorte
Tuesday 15 October 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Contemporary Sinus Treatments - Murray Bridge
Monday 28 October 2019, for more information phone 08 8531 1303
Stress: friend or foe? - Millicent
Wednesday 16 October 2019, 6.30pm - 9.00pm
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health training for General Practice - Berri
Wednesday 20 November 2019, 6.00pm - 9.00pm Register Here
Metro Region
HOW2 Create LGBTI Inclusive Services - Woodville
Starts 4 October 2019, 9.30am - 2.30pm
(4 sessions over 6 weeks)
2019 Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium - Adelaide
Monday 28 October to Wednesday 30 October 2019 Register Here
Mater's GP Education Conference -Brisbane
Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October 2019
Foundations of General Practice Nursing Workshop - Adelaide
Friday 8 November and Saturday 9 November 2019, 8.45am - 5.00pm
Implanon NXT Training for Registered Nurses and Midwives - Woodville
Tuesday 22 October 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm
Helen Mayo House Annual Conference Parenting: Passions and Pain - Adelaide
Monday 25 November and Tuesday 26 November 2019
RACGP GP19 Conference - Adelaide
Wednesday 23 October to Saturday 26 October 2019
2019 AAPM National Conference - Queensland
Tuesday 1 October to Friday 4 October 2019
Lead the Way Towards Wellbeing Conference 2019 - Sydney
Thursday 31 October and Friday 1 November 2019 Register Here
RMA19 Conference - Gold Coast
Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October 2019
Register Here
Make Dying Deadly - Palliative Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Symposium - Brisbane Friday 1 November 2019 
Using the My Health Record in SA Webinar
Tuesday 1 October 2019, 6.00pm to 6.45pm The webinar will cover a brief overview on current participation and access in South Australia; SA Health status update; Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging uploads; Private Hospitals update; Pharmacy registration and use; Specialist engagement; Pharmacy Shared Medicines List Join the Meeting
Webinar. IMPACT: Improving Outcomes in Atopic Dermatitis
The 1.5 hour webinar, accredited for 3 RACGP CPD points and 2 ACRRM PDP points, was developed in collaboration with the Australasian College of Dermatology and is proudly supported by the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. 
Using Telehealth Webinar
Thursday 10 October 2019, 10.00am - 10.45am.
The webinar will cover an update on services available from SA Health, Guidelines for use, MBS billing, and Use in Residential Aged Care. Join the meeting
Online Immunisation Training Course for GPs 
This course provides GPs with the up-to-date knowledge required to support their central role in vaccine management and immunisation program delivery.
Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease e Learning modules
The modules provide basic to advanced education for all health professionals. Participants are required to follow a simple registration process which provides a log-in for continuation of modules at one’s own pace. 
Register Here       

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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