Issue 28
July 26, 2018
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Playing a vital role in eliminating viral hepatitis

Hepatitis Awareness Week started on Monday and will end on World Hepatitis Day, Saturday 28th July. With the aim to raise awareness of hepatitis and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment, the national theme for World Hepatitis Day is ‘Why Miss Out’, encouraging Australians living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C to speak to their doctor about treatment options. Despite having access to testing, vaccinations and treatment many people in Australia are still missing out on the care they need.

With effective treatments available to help manage hepatitis B and cure hepatitis C, Australia is leading the way for a future without viral hepatitis. It is essential for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test, diagnose and allow early treatment.

Western Sydney has the fourth highest prevalence of hepatitis B in the country with an estimated 13,089 people living with chronic hepatitis B. Only 19% of people living with hepatitis C have initiated treatment, making the region the second lowest in NSW.

The Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN) and the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) are working collaboratively to address the burden of viral hepatitis by supporting consumers and health professionals across western Sydney.

These include:

  • Nurse Chronic Disease Education: Hepatitis B event on Monday 30th July.
  • Encouraging GPs to engage with the WSLHD's Community Outreach Hepatology Service and HOTTer West Program which supports practices to manage patients with viral hepatitis in the community.
  • The Jade Fan working group which continues to engage with communities at risk through local partnerships with Hepatitis NSW and the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM).
  • Development of a range of hepatitis pathways on HealthPathways which can be accessed using the below login details:
    Username: health
    Password: w3stern

More information about hepatitis training near you, how to become a prescriber, online learning or resources is available on the ASHM website.

Refugee camp in my neighbourhood: Health professional development tour
Wednesday 1st Aug, 9:00am - 4:30pm
Breast imaging and breast disease GP workshop
Thursday 2nd Aug, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Cardiac health series: Hypertension
Monday 20th Aug, 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Antenatal shared care education
Saturday 25th Aug, 12:30pm - 5:00pm

FASD pathways now available

New clinically-developed pathways on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder assessment are now available to support health professionals in western Sydney.

To access these and many other pathways visit HealthPathways at and sign in using the below login details:
Username: health
Password: w3stern

There’s still time to register for the Demystifying FASD in youth conference on Monday, 13th August, hosted by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network’s CICADA Centre.

Clarification of cervical cancer symptoms

Pathology laboratories are receiving requests for co-tests for participants with symptoms that are usually not indicative of cervical cancer. This has led to over-referral of participants for co-tests and unnecessary follow-up, where a cervical screening test would have been appropriate, if due. In order to address this issue, a set of more specific symptoms suggestive of cervical cancer has been developed by the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) clinical advisors and is available on the NCSP for healthcare providers webpage.

MBS and telehealth

The Department of Human Services have updated their website on MBS and telehealth billing rules. The new website provides clarity on eligibility, locations and MBS item numbers and payments, and also provides information on claiming for different types of health care professionals.

GP insight on genomic education

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is developing an e-learning module for general practitioners about genomic testing. GPs are requested to give an insight into what they are encountering in their practice about genomic testing and provide an input on the tentative module outline.

Start the survey to take part in this conversation.

GP Association meeting

The following GP association meeting is coming up in western Sydney:

The Hills: Palliative care challenges in general practice, Wednesday 15 August.

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