Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Information for health professionals

General information of interest to primary care health professionals, including general practice.

Time to rerview your Emergency Response Plan

Is your general practice prepared for the impacts of emergency events such as bushfires and floods? It’s a good time to review your Emergency Response Plan and update your capacity in the Capacity Tracker Portal.

The RACGP has developed resources to support general practices with preparing for, responding to and recovering from the impact of fires, floods and other emergencies. Access these documents here.

Also ensure you have downloaded the Vic Emergency App and are prepared for any power outages.

Gippsland PHN will also be releasing a bushfire toolkit shortly to assist with planning. If you need assistance, please email

Urgent treatment and referral of children with suspected serious bacterial infection by general practitioners

There has been an increase of children (including adolescents) with serious bacterial infections in

the last year, often associated with, or subsequent to, a viral infection.

The largest increase has been in severe Group A Streptococcus infections, but also Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcal infections. These bacterial infections include pneumonia, empyema, septicaemia, meningitis, and bone and soft tissue infections.

It is important that whenever serious bacterial infection is suspected in primary care, the first dose of effective antibiotics is given as soon as possible, and the child referred to a hospital urgently via ambulance or Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) so complete assessment and investigation can occur.

The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity has released this important alert for general practice.

Grants of up to $50,000 for Gippsland general practice

Gippsland general practices are being offered one-off grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 to expand patient access and improve general practice services.

The Australian Government has committed $220 million in funding to general practices and ACCOs to make improvements to support quality primary care as part of its Strengthening Medicare commitment.

Funding for eligible general practices  is based on practice size and can be used to make an investment in innovation, training, equipment, and minor capital works. This includes initiatives to:

  • Enhance digital health capability – to fast-track the benefits of a more connected healthcare system in readiness to meet future standards;
  • Upgrade infection prevention and control arrangements – to ensure infectious respiratory disease (e.g. COVID, influenza) patients can be safely seen face-to-face; and/or
  • Maintain and/or achieve accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practice, under the General Practice Accreditation Scheme, to promote quality and safety in general practice.

The program is being administered by Gippsland PHN, with applications now open and applications packs sent to all Gippsland general practices inviting them to participate. Applications close on 15 June 2023. Practices can contact Gippsland PHN for further information by emailing

For more information about the program, please refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website

Chronic cough awareness campaign

Lung Foundation Australia has launched a chronic cough awareness campaign which aims to raise awareness and support diagnosis in adults and children.

Chronic cough is often a sign of an underlying disease. Primary health care professionals are critical in the early detection and investigation of patients presenting with chronic cough.

Assessment of chronic cough should be undertaken differently for children and adults requiring a

focused history of the chronic cough to elicit any ‘red flag’ cough pointers that may indicate an underlying disease.

To support clinical best practice, two clinical algorithms have been designed to provide clear step-by-step, evidence-based recommendations in assessing and managing patients presenting with chronic cough. Access the algorithms below.

Adult algorithm

Child algorithm

To view more about the campaign and accompanying resources, visit:

Webinar for health professionals

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience a disproportionate burden of chronic respiratory disease that first typically presents with chronic wet cough, which may often be normalised by both health professionals and families.
In the lead up to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, Lung Foundation Australia will be hosting a live webinar for primary health care professionals discussing the evidence of chronic wet cough in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and applying culturally secure strategies that address enablers and barriers to improve respiratory outcomes.
The online webinar is on 3 August 2023 from 6-7pm. Register here

Offering bowel cancer screening to your patients just got easier

Encouraging your patients aged 50 to 74 to screen for bowel cancer just got easier with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program now enabling healthcare providers to bulk order program kits and issue them to eligible patients.

This new model is in addition to the mail-out model, where kits are mailed directly to eligible people by the National Cancer Screening Register.

Healthcare providers can support people who have never screened or are overdue for screening to take that positive next step through this alternative access via GP clinics, with patients more likely to do the test after discussion with a trusted healthcare professional.

GPs can learn how to get started with the new alternative access to kits model.

Resources to support implementation of low back pain standard

Back pain affects one in six Australians and costs our healthcare system $4.8bn per year. It is the leading cause of lost work productivity and early retirement in Australia and is a substantial burden for primary care.

Back problems are the second most common reason Australians visit their GP and one of the top five reasons people present to emergency departments.

The Low Back Pain Clinical Care Standard has been developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care with a focus on early management. Read this fact sheet.

doctors in secondary schools program