9 November 2022                                                                                   View this email in your browser

This update provides information to help primary care providers tackle current challenges, including COVID-19. Submissions can be sent to

View previous editions here.

Emerging issues webinar
The Victorian Department of Health in conjunction with RACGP Victoria is hosting a webinar tonight, Wednesday 9 November, 6pm – 7pm in response to the new wave of COVID-19 and the increase of JEV in the community. Topics:

  • COVID wave preparedness, including epidemiology, vaccinations, antivirals, IPC measures and more 
  • Overview of the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department - the role of the service to GPs and in providing a COVID response 
  • Japanese Encephalitis update.
Register here. For anyone registering to attend that does not have an RACGP ID, please use ‘000001’ for ‘other’.

Victorian general practices, community pharmacists and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations can call the Infection Prevention Helpline on 1800 312 968 or 03 9956 1046 9am-5pm Monday to Friday for free infection prevention and control advice.

PPE bundles
Comprehensive PPE bundles intended to support approximately four weeks of face-to-face patient consultations are available to all:
  • GPs, ACCHOs and GPRCs willing to manage COVID positive patients face-to-face in the home
  • ACCHOs and rural and remote GPs willing to manage COVID positive patients virtually AND respiratory patients face-to-face
  • GPs and GPRCs willing to support COVID positive patients virtually AND respiratory patients face-to-face are eligible to access P2/N95 eye protection
  • Community pharmacists administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
For more information and how to apply click here.

Flood recovery
Here are some quick links to help you navigate recovery. If you require additional support, email or visit our website for helpful advice and information for community and health services.

Important considerations after floods:
  • Contaminated floodwater can increase the risk of infections, see advice from Loddon Mallee PHUNSW HealthHealthdirect and WorkSafe QLD.
  • A growth in mosquitos may increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Share 'Beat the Bite' messaging.
  • Look out for signs that you or those around you might be struggling with trauma. The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has a short video on preventative measures
Extensions for practice accreditation
If your practice’s accreditation is due to expire in the next six months and you are in a flood-affected area, you can apply for an extension from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care via your accrediting agency. For further information, contact your accrediting agency or or the RACGP Standards team at

Support for general practice staff and pharmacists
General practice staff, pharmacists and their immediate family members can access Murray PHN's confidential Employee Assistance Program for free support. Call 1300 361 008 (24/7) and quote Murray PHN General Practice.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)
The Victorian and NSW governments have expanded eligibility criteria for free JEV vaccination to include people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in any of the following local government areas of Albury, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Swan Hill, Wodonga, Towong, Benalla, Wangaratta and Strathbogie AND:

  • Spend significant time outdoors (four hours per day), for unavoidable work, recreational, educational or other essential activities OR
  • Are living in temporary or flood damaged accommodation (e.g. camps, tents, dwellings exposed to the external environment) that place them at increased risk of exposure to mosquitoes OR
  • Are engaged in the prolonged outdoor recovery efforts (clean up) of stagnant waters following floods.
Vaccination can be administered after arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for prolonged recovery efforts. 

Due to restricted stock, JE vaccine orders will be limited. If you require vaccine exceeding orders limits, please email

NSW Health has authorised Nurse/Midwife Immunisers to administer JEV vaccines. Completion of this training is mandatory prior to administration - Japanese encephalitis: A resource for registered nurses and midwives.

The vaccine is free for eligible people and general practices are encouraged to bulk bill for the service whenever possible.

Providers of the vaccine in the Murray PHN region can be found here and local public health units are also providing JEV vaccines. Please call ahead to ensure stock is on hand and note some sites will be closed due to floods. 

Monkeypox (MPX)
Eligibility for the MPX vaccine has been expanded and supply of vaccines has increased across Victoria. The second dose is now available for those who received their first dose more than 28 days ago. The vaccine is free and available through local public health units in the Murray PHN region. Clinicians should test for MPX in all patients presenting with compatible symptoms.

Read the full Health alert here.

Local outreach vaccination and testing clinics
Upcoming clinics in the Murray PHN catchment:    Local primary care vaccination providers are available here

Note: some local clinics are closed due to floods. Click here to download a list of providers who are closed or offering limited services (current as of 9/11).

Support for homebound individuals
Murray PHN can help to engage a primary care vaccine provider for homebound patients. Click here for eligibility criteria and referral. For more:

New HealthPathway
The COVID-19 Referrals and Escalation of Care pathway includes information about the Face-to-face home assessment and monitoring service for COVID-19 positive patients as well as the Hospital-Led Virtual Home-Based Monitoring Program.

Supporting the disability sector

Murray PHN is helping disability providers and liaison officers to engage primary care providers for in-reach vaccinations. If your practice can assist, email:

Practices can also access support and resources from disability liaison officers in: 

Education and training

Upcoming events

Online learning

Recorded webinars

New and updated resources

Copyright © 2022 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.

Murray PHN acknowledges its catchment crosses over many unceded First Nations Countries, following the Dhelkunya Yaluk (Healing River).
We pay our respects and give thanks to the Ancestors, Elders and Young people for their nurturing, protection and caregiving of these sacred lands and waterways, acknowledging their continuing cultural, spiritual and educational practices.
We are grateful for the sharing of Country and the renewal that Country gives us. We acknowledge and express our sorrow that this sharing has come at a personal, spiritual and cultural cost to the wellbeing of First Nations peoples. We commit to addressing the injustices of colonisation across our catchment, and to listening to the wisdom of First Nations communities who hold the knowledge to enable healing.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Murray PHN (ABN 92 156 423 755) acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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Murray PHN · 3-5 View Point · Bendigo, Vic 3550 · Australia