14 December 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.

Please note that this is the final Primary Care Update for 2022.The next update will be sent on 11 January 2023. 

Our offices will close at 2pm on 23 December, reopening on 3 January. If you require urgent assistance over the holiday period, contact Janine Holland, Chief Operations Officer 0456 976 768 or Janice Radrekusa, Director of Operations 0438 183 425. 

Murray PHN would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work during what has been another challenging year.

Have a peaceful holiday break and a happy new year.

COVID vaccination provider bulletin 12 December

National COVID Health Management Plan
The National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023 launched by the Australian Government, “will ensure Australia’s health system has the capacity and capability to respond to future waves and variants; promote update of vaccination and treatments; and slow the spread of transmission.” Ensuring Australians are fully vaccinated continues to be a priority with primary care providers remaining as critical partners of the vaccination program in the Murray PHN region. 

The COVID-19 vaccination program in 2023 will include:

  • A streamlined and simplified system of MBS items as outlined in the bulletin
  • Maintenance of the existing remote supervision MBS items
  • An increased flag fall item to support vaccination in-reach for aged and disability care residents (the existing PIP in-reach incentive will be extended to 31 January 2023 to cover the transition to the increase)
  • The Vaccine Administration Partners Program (VAPP) will continue to provide vaccinations where primary care availability is limited
  • The Vulnerable Vaccination Program will continue to 31 December 2023. This funding enables PHNs to continue supporting primary care providers to develop and implement innovative vaccination activities which are tailored to the needs of local priority populations.

Reporting over the holiday period
If your practice is closed over the holidays, the requirement to submit weekly stock management reports is waived. You will be required to complete a report on re-opening and prior to placing your next order.

Mosquito borne diseases
The Victorian Department of Health have advised that Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus have been detected in mosquitoes in Campaspe and Loddon LGAs.

The Murray HealthPathway Mosquito-borne Diseases in Victoria outlines assessment practice points, management guidelines and referral options for use by clinicians.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)
Stock of JE vaccines remains limited. In the lead up to the holiday season, providers should reduce ordering to ensure excess stock is not held during closure periods. Contact for assistance with vaccine ordering.

Vaccine breaches
To avoid vaccination errors, please ask every question on the eligibility checklist to ensure the correct vaccine is chosen. If you are unsure which vaccine to administer, do not vaccinate and refer the individual to a medical practitioner.
The Department has provided mandatory eLearning. Pharmacists and nurse immunisers must complete online training before administering JE vaccines

Reporting vaccinations
It is strongly recommended that JE vaccination be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) using your medical practice software. Please enter the correct brand of vaccine and not the generic name as well as route of administration (ID vs SC). Reporting these vaccinations to the AIR means that the register contains a complete and reliable dataset and can monitor immunisation coverage and administration. It also means that individuals have a complete record of their vaccinations. More information for Victorian immunisation providers can be found here.

The vaccine is free for eligible people and general practices are encouraged to bulk bill for the service whenever possible. Vaccination can also be administered after arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for prolonged recovery efforts. Further information is provided in this factsheet.

Additional resources:

Providers of the vaccine in the Murray PHN region can be found hereLocal public health units are also providing JEV vaccines. Please call ahead to ensure stock is on hand. 

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

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:

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: 

GP respiratory clinics
GPRCs provide free care for Victorians with respiratory symptoms, including comprehensive assessments and support to manage illnesses. If your health service lacks capacity or adequate PPE to manage patients with respiratory symptoms, please refer them to the nearest GP respiratory clinic and not to a hospital, unless it's an emergency. Local GPRCs are:

  • Shepparton Respiratory Clinic (Princess Park Clinic), 172 Welsford Street, Ph: 03 5821 9655 - click here for opening hours and bookings.
  • Wodonga Respiratory Clinic (Central Medical), 224-226 Beechworth Road, Ph: 02 6067 2437 - click here for opening hours and bookings.
For more information on GPRCs, 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 infection and disease, see advice from Loddon Mallee PHUNSW HealthHealthdirect and WorkSafe QLD.
  • Look out for signs that you or those around you might be struggling. Head to Health services are available by calling 1800 595 212 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.
Support for general practice staff 
General practice staff 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.

Education and training

Fully Funded Immunisation Endorsement Pathway
Murray PHN has a very limited number of fully funded places in the Immunisation Endorsement Pathway Courses, available to registered nurses who work within a general practice in our region. Details about the course can be found here: Immunisation Endorsement Pathway | The Benchmarque Group

Places will be offered on a first come first serve basis. Please submit your expression of interest to and include:

  • Name
  • Workplace (general practice) name and address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • AHPRA number
  • Confirmation that you meet the entry requirements (AHPRA registered nursing or medical practitioner qualification AND completion of the Foundations of Immunisation Practice Program).

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