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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

Vaccine Roll Out: Update

 Vaccine Roll Out: Update

The Victorian Government is supporting the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination program. The Australian Government aims to make the COVID-19 vaccines available to as many people in Australia as possible in 2021.

There will be limited doses of COVID-19 vaccines initially, so certain groups at highest risk of infection will get the first doses.

Phase 1a priority groups started receiving the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Victoria on 22 February, administered through hospital immunisation hubs.

In preparation for increasing vaccine supply, the Victorian Department of Health is engaging with a range of sectors to inform the roll-out including:

  • 200+ people in 1a priority ports and industries sectors
  • 9+ forums with Aboriginal health, medical, disability and aged care sectors
  • 400+ participants in local government forums across Victoria
  • 480+ participants from culturally and linguistically diverse communities

The mass rollout of Australia’s vaccine program is one of the largest health programs ever managed in Australia. While this occurs, it’s important to stay COVID Safe to protect everyone against COVID-19.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • reduces your risk of getting sick with COVID-19
  • protects you against becoming very sick if you do get COVID-19
  • helps to protect your friends, family and community.
Find out more through:

New Immunisation View in My Health Record

MHR and ADHA logos 

The My Health Record system has been upgraded and introduces a new consolidated view of immunisation information that supports the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  

The changes introduce onscreen alert for the second COVID-19 vaccination due date (if the first vaccination has been given), immunisation history from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and the individual’s record (shared health summaries and event summaries) that can be filtered by source.

Improved user settings will:

  • Provide group alerts, notifications and reminders on home page
  • Set notifications to include immunisation changes
  • Understand and modify privacy & access controls

My Health Record Helpline can be contacted on 1800 723 471 (Select Option 1)

Surveillance testing of healthcare workers – guidance

Surveillance testing of healthcare workers has been updated for all health services providing care to confirmed COVID-19 patients and High Risk suspected COVID patients. Updates include:

  • The category of “at-risk” suspected COVID cases has been removed, with those patients with epidemiological risk factors now deemed high-risk suspected. These patients do not all need to have symptoms to qualify, depending on their epidemiological risk. This aligns with other patient management guidance (notably PPE requirements).
View the Surveillance testing of healthcare workers – guidance.

New Victorian Government Departments

From 1 February 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services separated into two new departments – the Department of Health (DH) and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).

The new DFFH will also receive functions from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, including multicultural affairs, LGBTQI and Equality, Veterans, and the offices for Women and Youth.

Primary Health News is produced by the Department of Health (the department), but may contain items provided by any Victorian Government departments or external stakeholders.

Find out more at the department’s website.

MARAM Leading Alignment webinar training for Organisational Leaders

Community health services and hospitals will be prescribed under the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) from 19 April 2021.

MARAM was established in law under a new Part 11 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. MARAM sets out key principles and pillars that should be embedded into an organisation’s policies, procedures and tools. MARAM also identifies the responsibilities of organisations and staff across the system.

MARAM Leading Alignment webinar training is available now for Organisational Leaders, CEOs, Directors and senior managers to support the implementation of MARAM in their services.

Register for the training on the DVRC’s website

Providers can find out more about MARAM on the department’s website

Accredited Eye Health Training Module for Diabetes Educators

ADEA logo   Vision Initiative logo

 Free eye health training for diabetes educators and other primary health care professionals including GPs, nurses and dieticians.

Developed by Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) and the Vision Initiative.

Knowledge gained through the course will help primary health professionals initiate conversations with clients about eye care, identify people at risk of vision loss and provide advice, including connecting clients to eye health and support services.

Find out more on the Vision Initiative website

Access the training on the ADEA website

2021 Gwen Scott grant program applications now open

Diabetes Victoria encourages health professionals, who have been a health professional member of our organisation for 12 months or more, to apply for the 2021 Gwen Scott grant program. This year, Diabetes Victoria will award up to $40,000 to health professionals to further their training and development in diabetes.

Applications close 31 May 2021.

Find out more at

Diabetes Victoria events

Diabetes Expo, reimagined

Registrations are now open for Diabetes Online Expo 2021, Australia’s largest online event for people living with diabetes. Diabetes Online Expo 2021 will be held on Saturday 27 March and will give people living with diabetes the opportunity to hear from experts in the field. This year there is no separate stream for health professionals but we will still be covering the topics that matter to you and your clients.

Tickets are $10 or free for all Diabetes Victoria members.

Find out more and register at Diabetes Online Expo 2021 page.

New virtual diabetes workshops

For clients needing practical skills to help improve their diabetes management. They are online, free and only go for 75 minutes.

Healthy Food Shopping: the basics
Thursday 25 March 2021
(for people with all types of diabetes)
Carbohydrates: the basics
Tuesday 6 April 2021
(for people with type 2 diabetes)
Blood glucose monitoring: the basics
Wednesday 28 April 2021
(for people with type 2 diabetes)

Find out more and register.

Free dental care for children in out-of-home care

Free public dental care is available to all children in out-of-home care provided by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (including kinship and foster care) up to 18 years of age. They are exempt from paying fees and have priority access, so will be offered the first available appointment. Young people can provide their own consent for treatment if they are considered by the dental provider to be mature minors.

Find your nearest public dental clinic and contact details here

New Heart Health Check Toolkit – for general practices

Heart Health Check toolkit 

Developed by the Heart Foundation, the Heart Health Check Toolkit can help general practices integrate the Heart Health Check into routine patient care.

Approximately 2.5 million Australians are at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, and over half of these have not had an event previously.

Heart Health Checks support the specific assessment and management of absolute CVD risk in primary care for eligible patients 45 years and over (30 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients).

5 reasons to check out the Heart Health Check Toolkit:

  1. Pre-filled assessment and management templates make it easier for you to collect CVD risk factor information and support your patients to manage their risk.
  2. The ‘quality improvement’ section of the Toolkit has all that your practice needs to kickstart continuous quality improvement as required by the PIP QI program.
  3. Patient invitation templates, receptionist guide and data recall recipes can be used to identify and recall your at-risk patients.
  4. Waiting room posters, animations and brochures will help you to engage with your patients about their heart health.
  5. Thinking about setting up a heart health promotional event? Our step-by-step guide can be used by the entire team to help you prepare.

Community Health Pride – LGBTIQ+ practice inclusive resources

Community Health Pride 

Community Health Pride is a suite of resources to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer and/or Questioning inclusive planning and practice in Victorian community health services.

It includes a comprehensive toolkit that provides guidance and practical steps to embed LGBTIQ+ inclusive practices in community health and a series of posters and a client brochure that can be displayed to support a welcoming and safe environment for LGBTIQ+ people.

By actively practising inclusion, recognising the impact of marginalisation, valuing diversity and working to eliminate barriers, community health services can help to improve the experience, health and wellbeing, of LGBTIQ+ clients.

Download the resources on the department’s website.

Applications open to support multicultural and faith communities during COVID-19


The Victorian Government’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities Taskforce has announced the second round of the Priority Response for Multicultural Communities (PRMC) funding program.

Multicultural community organisations are invited to apply for funding to deliver emergency relief, community engagement around health directions and the vaccination program and for projects supporting social and economic recovery.

In this round, up to $8 million will be available to support priority culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including women, young people, and new and emerging communities who have been particularly impacted during the pandemic.

Applications close on 28 May 2021 or when funds are exhausted.

Find out more

Making services easier for clients

Join the CEH’s on-line health literacy course to learn about:

  • What your clients want
  • Design services they need
  • Communicate in plain language
Find out more on the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health’s website

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