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Keep up-to-date with the latest primary health news and events from across Victoria.

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 ph.news@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Australian & New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine annual conference (Virtual)

This year’s virtual Annual Scientific Meeting (19-22 November 2020) will ‘explore the new normal in workplace health'.

Features include a keynote address by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, a special presentation by BeyondBlue CEO, Georgie Harman, on the mental health impacts of COVID-19, virtual worksite visits, and much more.

Find out more and register at the ANZSOM website.


HACC-PYP and SCP COVID-19 grant reporting

22 primary health providers were successful in getting a COVID-19 grant in June 2020 through Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC-PYP) or Support for Carers Program (SCP).  

Successful agencies have until 31 December 2020 to expend the funds.  

Reporting is required monthly on the 15th of the month until funds are expended.

If agencies have questions, you can contact Louise.mcguire@dhhs.vic.gov.au


Making a decision about tonsillectomy and reducing readmissions

Making a decision

Tonsillectomy is one of the most common childhood surgeries and is usually performed to treat snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea or frequent tonsillitis. Rates of surgery vary greatly depending on geographic location in the state.

Safer Care Victoria has developed resources to help general practitioners, health services and families make the best decision about their child having a tonsillectomy.


Reducing readmissions after paediatric tonsil surgery

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are the most common childhood surgeries and are usually performed to treat snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea or frequent tonsillitis. Some hospitals have higher than expected rates of readmissions after these surgeries.

Safer Care Victoria has developed resources to help families care for their child when returning home after tonsil surgery and minimise the risk of readmission.


Reducing unnecessary prescribing in infant reflux

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is common in infants, affecting up to 40 per cent of infants. It is often misdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily with acid suppression therapy, which can increase the risk of harm.

New resources are now available to support parents and primary health care clinicians in caring for infants with gastro-oesophageal reflux, irritability or unexplainable crying, thanks to a partnership between Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Find out more about the project and resources on the Paediatric Clinical Network’s website.

View the resources on the Royal Children’s Hospital website.


Managing illness in schools and early childhood services during the COVID-19 pandemic

A fact sheet on Managing illness in schools and early childhood services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is now available to support GPs in providing advice to parents of unwell children about school attendance:

  • if a child is unwell, even with the mildest symptoms, they must stay home
  • if a child has any of the below symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, they should be tested
  • a child must stay at home until they are symptom free, even if their coronavirus (COVID-19) test is negative
  • children do not need a medical certificate before returning to school.

This advice has been prepared by the Department of Education and Training, Safer Care Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Download the fact sheet

View the vic.gov.au website


SuicideLine Victoria

SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service offering professional support to:

  • Anyone experiencing emotional or mental health issues
  • Anyone at risk of suicide
  • Anyone concerned about someone else's risk of suicide
  • Anyone bereaved by suicide.

Along with single-session counselling, multi-session counselling and case management support is now available.

Phone 1300 651 251

View information for health professionals (including how to refer a client) on SuicideLine Victoria’s website


Pollen Season and Epidemic Thunderstorm Asthma

A predicted wet spring in Victoria will increase grass pollen and the risk of an epidemic thunderstorm asthma event.  

Last month’s Primary Health News encouraged clinics to recall patients to review their asthma action plans.

There are new alternative treatments particularly for those with mild asthma.

For more information on epidemic thunderstorm asthma, see

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