Issue 09
March 15, 2018
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Hepatitis C treatment at general practices

Many people with hepatitis C are not aware of their condition and may have contracted the virus many years ago. GPs are encouraged to speak to patients about the improvements in treatment in recent years, which now have fewer side effects and can be curative.

Treatment continues to be predominately prescribed by hospital specialists, particularly in western Sydney. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Dispensing Records for March to September 2016 indicate that less than 17% of western Sydney patients who were dispensed HCV treatment received treatment from a specialist GP or other prescriber, giving our region one of the lowest GP dispensing rates in NSW.

The PBS enlisted Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) making it easier for GPs to prescribe HCV treatment to people with hepatitis C.

Although hepatitis C treatment can be prescribed to patients with cirrhosis, they should also be referred to a liver clinic for assessment and management of liver disease. GPs can refer patients to the Western Sydney Local Health District’s Community Outreach Hepatology Service. For more information or advice, contact a Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist at or call 8890 3678.

Hepatitis C pathways are also available on the Western Sydney HealthPathways portal. Access these and many more pathways by using the below login details:
Username: health
Password: w3stern

GPs and nurse practitioners who wish to learn more about prescribing HVC treatment are invited to attend the ASHM Hepatitis C: new treatments course in Sydney on Saturday 24th March. Registrations close Monday 19 March.

My Health Record: Get connected - Opt out is coming
Thursday 22nd Mar, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Hepatitis C new treatments course
Saturday 24th Mar, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Practice fracture management in general practice
Monday 9th Apr, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

BreastScreen NSW campaign

BreastScreen NSW have launched a new campaign to bust myths about the role of family history and breast cancer risk. With 9 out of 10 women who develop breast cancer not having a family history, the Not in My Family campaign has been developed to increase participation in breast screening among women aged 50-74. More information to help you support your patients is available on the BreastScreen NSW website.

New HPV vaccine

A new HPV vaccine which protects against 9 HPV types (9vHPV or Gardasil9®) has been introduced under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and is being offered to all Year 7 students as part of the NSW School Vaccination Program. Any remaining stock of the previous four valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil®) should now be discarded. Please distribute the HPV vaccination changes to all staff within your practice. More information about the changes can also be found on the NSW Health website.

Participate in My Health Record review

The Australian Digital Health Agency is looking to recruit GPs to participate in a review of clinical software to learn more about how GPs are interacting with My Health Record. Findings from the review will be used to improve usability and identify opportunities to innovate. Find out more or express your interest in participating by contact Gillian Bowan on 0423 111 308 or email

GP Association meetings

The below GP Association meetings are coming up in western Sydney:

Blacktown: Novel oral anti coagulants (NOAC's): future focussed patient care in AF - Wednesday 21st March

Westmead: Ophthalmology GP updates - Wednesday 21st March

Mt Druitt: HPV screening: an Australian success story - Friday 23rd March

Hills: Improving asthma symptom control in general practice - Wednesday 4th April

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