North East Valley DGP eNews

No 1412: April 30, 2014
eNews is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to all GP practices (with email addresses) within the NEV catchment. The aim is to provide up to date information relevant to GPs and to disseminate the latest activities and resources from the division. All feedback and enquiries welcome and should be addressed to Patty Marshall. You can also visit our website at:
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In this issue:

Editorial                                                The Future of Medicare Locals? The Future of Divisions? Will Primary Care Services be up for Tender or Contract?      

Chronic Disease Management            Diabetes food myth, Diabetes - Beyond the Horizon, Getting Started – an education session for people with type 2 diabetes, Supermarket Tours 

Professional Development                 CPD events   

Immunisation                                       Hepatitis B vaccine – more at-risk groups eligible for a free course

Information Management                  Medical Director Tips

Items of interest                                  Human Services Directory, RACGP clinical pearls, GP Network News

News for Practice Staff                       Upcoming conferences

Women’s Health                                  Cancer Screening in Women over 50

Positions vacant/wanted                  

Fun stuff                                              


A Word from the Editor

The Future of Medicare Locals? The Future of Divisions? Will Primary Care Services be up for Tender or Contract?

There has been much speculation in the media (e g. the ABC, Fairfax) as to the future of Medicare Locals. The answers we assume will be contained in the Federal Budget, due in about 3 weeks. The Division has sought the advice of a random group of practices of what they would like to see in the way of future support for general practice.


Without exception the responsive, personal service, they saw as provided by the Division was at the top of their wish list. The Division’s policy of never letting a phone ring more than 3 times and getting back to the caller within 24 hours for questions we couldn’t answer immediately was universally applauded by our members and their staff.


The second most valued service provided by the division was the practical interpretation of Commonwealth initiatives and their implementation (such as Information Management, Immunisation, Aged Care, Mental Health and NPS), most often in the practice itself. Equally appreciated were the Practice Manager, Practice Nurse and practice staff networks established by the Division.


Thirdly was the “TEAM” approach adopted by the Division, where individual programs and personnel supported each other both in the office and in the field.


Finally, many commented on the Divisions support staff, who most often were the face of the Division in the first instance. Friendly, knowledgeable and reliable were the words most often used to describe them in our brief sample.


The Budget on May 11th will be of interest to us all and we can only hope that any new structure will provide the types of service to general practice as outlined above. We live in hope!


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Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes food myth - People with diabetes can’t eat certain fruits

Truth: Fruit may taste sweet but in fact, most types of fruit have a low glycemic index, meaning that they are slowly absorbed. People with diabetes can eat all types of fruit. The most important factor is the amount of fruit consumed, as eating too much fruit can raise blood glucose levels. Aim to eat 2-3 servings of fruit every day, and spread this out across the day. One serving of fruit is equal to 1 medium piece (e.g. 1 apple or banana), 2 small pieces (e.g. 2 small apricots or kiwi fruit) or 1 cup of cut up fruit pieces. For more information about diabetes please visit 


Diabetes - Beyond the Horizon

DA–Vic, in partnership with Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, is again hosting this key educational event for diabetes nurse educators, dietitians and diabetes health professionals in 2014.

Friday 16 May at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 2 Clarendon Street, South Wharf. Further more information and to register click here.


Getting Started – an education session for people with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Australia – Vic’s Getting Started program is a 5 hour group education session for people with type 2 diabetes who are newly diagnosed or have not had diabetes education in the past. Programs are run by our Diabetes Educator and Dietitian, who will provide participants with valuable information to help get them started with their diabetes management. Click here for more information.


Diabetes Australia – Vic Supermarket Tours

DA–Vic organise supermarket tours across Victoria, to help make shopping for food easier. As part of the two hour tour, local dietitians show the group how to accurately read and understand food labels, select healthy food alternatives and identify products that are appropriate for people with type 2 diabetes. Cost: Free-DA-Vic members and $15 for non-members. Limited bookings available for each tour.

Locations for tours can be found here. To make a booking, contact the Diabetes Info and Advice Line (DIAL) on 1300 136 588.


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Continuing Professional Development

Webinar - Warfarin: Optimising Time In Therapeutic Range
Wednesday 14th May 7-8pm Presenter: Debra Rowett, Director Drug and Therapeutics Information Service, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia.
The presentation will focus on Warfarin in people with Atrial Fibrillation. Topics include the long term effects of daily use of Warfarin; its dose requirements (pharmacokinetics); multiple concomitant medications and their polymorbidity; the incidence and prevalence of Warfarin and management of patients within the therapeutic range. At the end of the webinar, one should be able to manage the therapeutic use of Warfarin and understand the different methods to calculate time-in-therapeutic range (TTR). Please click here to register for this event. 

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Hepatitis B vaccine – more at-risk groups eligible for a free course

Eligibility for a free hepatitis B vaccine course has expanded to include more at-risk groups:

household contacts and sexual partners of people living with hepatitis B 

people who inject drugs or are on opioid substitution therapy

people living with hepatitis C

men who have sex with men

people living with HIV

prisoners and remandees

people who were in a custodial setting and commenced but did not complete a free vaccine course while in custody.

Patients eligible for the free vaccine course should be advised of their increased risk and have serological testing for HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc. Patients found to be susceptible to hepatitis B should be given a free vaccine course.  

Post-vaccination serological testing is recommended four to eight weeks after completion of the vaccine course in certain groups. See The Australian Immunisation Handbook: 10th edition 2013 (updated January 2014).

Obtain the free vaccine by using the online order forms. Promote the free vaccine course to those eligible. A poster outlining eligibility is available here.

Following confirmation of a hepatitis B diagnosis notify the department. Download the notification form and fax to 1300 651 170 (local call) or post to Reply Paid 65937, Melbourne, Vic. 8060. Call 1300 651 160 for assistance and information.


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Information Management

Medical Director Tip - Changes to Correspondence preview display

The Letters, Documents and Correspondence Preview windows have two really good features, setting the page magnification and opening a document externally:

1.      Zoom Page Width – you can select from a drop down menu to select your zoom magnification, or alternatively you can use Control + Mouse wheel to zoom in and out to your required magnification.

2.      Open Externally – click on one of your documents and then the Open Externally button which will cause text-based documents to open in Word, and non-text in a graphics program such as Windows Photo Viewer.

These documents can then be quickly saved, printed or emailed outside of Medical Director.


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Items of Interest

Human Services Directory (HSD)

Just a quick reminder to please update your GP practice details regularly on the HSD.  Hospitals, such as Austin Health, use the details on the HSD to provide patient communication to GPs.  To update your practice details, please go to


RACGP clinical pearls

Recently, the RACGP introduced a new section in its Fridayfacts newsletter called RACGP clinical pearls, which will be bringing readers an evidence-based, best practice "pearl of wisdom". This new section ties in with our recent webinar on diagnosis and management of health care, which relates to Criterion 1.4 of the Standards, describing the need for care based on best available evidence and current clinical guidelines. You can learn more about this criterion by viewing the recording of the webinar session.


GP Network News

This week’s edition includes can be found here.


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News for Practice Staff

Upcoming conferences

APNA conference – details here.

Australian Association of Practice Managers conference – details here.


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Women’s Health

Cancer Screening in Women over 50

This ThinkGP video is produced in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria and BreastScreen Victoria. It examines the prevalence of diagnoses of breast and bowel cancer in different age groups, and modifiable lifestyle factors to reduce a patient's risk of being effected by either disease. As women age, the incidence of these diseases increases as does the need to screen, and this video explores this by examining the most recent Australian statistics. Click here to view the video


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Positions vacant/wanted

Please note: only new ads or resubmitted ads will be posted here. All other ads can be found on the website


Positions vacant


Carlton - Full Time/Part Time VR GPs wanted (flexible hours). We are a group of female medical practitioners running a high-quality, family-orientated general practice, with a practice manager, practice nurse and allied health personnel onsite (podiatrist, dietitian, psychologist and women’s physio) plus on-site pathology. The practice is fully computerised and accredited. Phone 9380 4655, Email, Web


Greensborough Road Surgery is currently seeking a Full-Time GP, approx 8 sessions pw. A position is available for an enthusiastic GP to join our team in a modern, well-equipped 10-doctor practice, offering high-quality care in an experienced and supportive environment. Private billing, computerised, 2.5 full-time nurses, (clinical CVC, and CDM.)  Contact Ann McCormack (03) 9435 0711 or email or see


Montmorency - GP needed to join 10 doctor busy family practice. Accredited, purpose built clinic. Fully computerized. Flexible hours. Supported by Div 1 nurses, pathology on site. No AH or on-call, excellent remuneration and support. Call Kay on 03 9435 1144 or Email:


West Heidelberg - GP wanted to join a solo GP practice, part time or full time. Please call 0435 815 187 or email


Practice Staff

Northcote - Division 1 Nurse. An old, established, solo, fully computerised practice with warm and friendly atmosphere is seeking a Division 1 Nurse to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 1 pm - total 12 hours. Salary: Award Rates. Contact details: Neelam Berera on 0411 196 940 (mobile).


Reservoir: Summerhill Medical Centre is an established medical practice seeking F/T and/or P/T practice nurses to join support a dedicated team to provide exemplary care to patients of all ages.  Flexible hours. Salary: Negotiable based on relevant experience. Contact details:  John on 0403 178 141 or


Rosanna Medical Group is a family oriented Private General Practice that is fully computerised and accredited.  We are seeking a medical receptionist for 30 hours plus per week inclusive of evening work.  Knowledge in PracSoft and Medical Director is preferred.  This position would include general reception and administrative duties. Please contact Jeda or Jan on 9457 1463 and email CV to


West Heidelberg - Div 1 GP nurse wanted to join a solo GP practice. Initialy 22 hours per week. Please call 0435 815 187 or email

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Growing up

Growing up is a weird notion to wrap your mind around. As you go through life, your perspectives on almost everything will change. How you define success will change as well. Things that you thought were important at the age of 35 will be useless when you’re 65. You may not realize it now, but everything will shift.

Don’t believe us?

·         At age 4 success is not peeing in your pants.

·         At age 12 success is having friends.

·         At age 18 successes is having a driver’s license.

·         At age 19 success is having sex.

·         At age 35 success is having money.

·         At age 50 success is having money.

·         At age 60 success is having sex.

·         At age 70 success is having a driver’s license.

·         At age 75 success is having friends.

·         At age 80 success is not peeing in your pants.


It all comes full circle, whether you like it or not.


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And remember


            If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport.