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Primary health news - August 2019 edition

Keep up-to-date with the latest primary health news and events from across Victoria. The items below generally have hyperlinks to further information.

Primary Health News welcomes contributions from across the sector. To submit an article for the next edition, simply complete the article submission template and email it to

Larger supervised injecting room will save more lives


View of medical treatment room through doorway, showing sink and sharps disposal bin

The new, larger Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) facility opened its doors in North Richmond on Sunday 7 July and now provides longer operating hours and increased health and social support services. The extended opening hours means the MSIR is open from 7am-9pm on weekdays, and 8am-7pm on weekends.

The MSIR has been in operation for 12 months and in the first year of operation, staff have safely responded to more than 1,231 overdoses, which may have otherwise been fatal, while more than 2,941 people have used the facility.

Additional outreach workers are on the streets to ensure people who use drugs have every opportunity to access the MSIR.

The MSIR connects people with health and social support services, including drug treatment, to help make a lasting impact on people’s lives. Already, almost a quarter of clients have indicated that they would like assistance to access drug treatment, while over a third of clients would like support to access treatment for hepatitis C.

The MSIR is showing positive early results and the benefits of the facility are expected to increase over time. An independent panel of experts is reviewing the trial and report in 2020.

Moving Pictures: Dementia resources for Australia’s multicultural communities


Woman looking at monitor featuring Moving Pictures website

The Moving Pictures project, led by the National Ageing Research Institute, has developed dementia awareness film and media resources for Australia’s multicultural communities. The resources include films, comics and a mobile-optimised website.

They are now available free of charge to all providers and consumers.

Watch the Moving Pictures films on their website.

Cancer survivorship workshop for primary care practitioners

Upskill in cancer survivorship with learnings:

  • from the leading edge of cancer care
  • incorporating patient perspectives.

Registrations are open for a free workshop designed for GPs, practice nurses and allied health professionals.

When:  Saturday 7 September

Venue: Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Parkville

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre logo

Read more and register via the VCCC website.

Accredited Courses in Consumer Leadership and Engagement – registrations now open

Health Issues Centre logo

The Graduate Certificate in Consumer and Community Engagement (10164NAT) is a four-day course for health service staff who work in the area of consumer engagement.

When: Wed 13 & Thurs 14 November 2019
Wed 27 & Thurs 28 November 2019

Venue: Level 1, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne

Register for the Grad Cert through the Health Issues Centre website.

The Course in Consumer Leadership (10163NAT) is a three-day course for consumer representatives, advisors and consumer leaders.

When: Thurs 15, 22 & 29 August 2019

Venue: Level 1, 255 Bourke St, Melbourne

Register for the Course in Consumer Leadership through the Health Issues Centre website.

Fit to drive? New resources now available to support conversations with patients  

Recent coronial reports on road deaths in Victoria have highlighted the importance of the licensing authority’s medical review process for ensuring road safety.

The VicRoads website now provides easy access to information for health professionals, including practitioner fact sheets outlining health professional obligations and the VicRoads Medical Review process. New patient fact sheets addressing the impacts of various medical conditions on driving and driver’s legal obligations are also available to support health practitioners’ discussions about driving with patients.

An important initiative of VicRoads Medical Review is the development of an online medical report, which will be available soon. When available, the online version will provide a convenient alternative to the current paper-based form.

Supercare Pharmacies – nurse-administered vaccinations

The Supercare Pharmacy nursing service has delivered a record number of vaccines this year. From 1 January to 30 June 2019, a total of 1,054 vaccinations have been administered across all 20 Supercare Pharmacies.

Eligible customers can receive free vaccines, such as flu, from nurses and pharmacist immunisers at Supercare Pharmacies.

Supercare Pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for advice and supply of medicines in 20 locations across Victoria. A free on-site nursing service, in a private consulting room, is available every evening from 6pm to 10pm.

Victoria in Bloom garden competition 2019-20

Victoria in Bloom is an annual garden competition for anyone living in public or community housing in Victoria.

The competition recognises and rewards gardeners who create and maintain gardens on their properties or in shared communal areas.

For more information and to find out how to enter, visit the Victoria in Bloom page on the department's Housing website.

Social Housing Volunteer Awards 2019

The Social Housing Volunteer Awards celebrate the work that public and community housing tenants do to make their communities stronger.

Find out more, including how to nominate someone for an award, on the Social Housing Volunteer Awards page on the department's Housing website.

Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations Review

The current Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 will sunset on 15 December 2019. Regulations ‘sunset’ or expire every 10 years so they need to be reviewed and replaced.

The review process provides all Victorians with an opportunity to help shape new regulations in place to protect their health and wellbeing.

The regulations that particularly relate to primary care colleagues are:

-    notifications of infectious diseases, micro-organisms and medical conditions
-    immunisation and infectious disease prevention in early childhood services and schools
-    registered premises – infection control.

The department will shortly be consulting on the proposed regulations and the associated regulatory impact statement via the Engage platform.

For further information, email


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