New South Wales COVID-19 updates


This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in NSW.

The information on this page was last updated: Tuesday 11 August 2020, 3.30 pm AEST.

You can also find nationally relevant information via the RACGP Coronavirus (COVID19) information for GPs webpage

For up-to-the-minute information, visit the Australian Federal Government Department of Health website and subscribe to receive the bi-weekly COVID-19 newsletter for GPs from the Chief Medical Officer.

  • Public health contact1300 066 055
  • NSW Health key links:
  • PBS changes from 1 August 2020:
  • Fitness to Drive – online form
    Transport for NSW has improved online Fitness to Drive medical assessment forms.
    • Real time fitness to drive notification from Transport for NSW
    • Two online forms replaced by 12 specialist focused online forms
    • Pre-population of previous assessment data to new forms
    • Online links to National Assessing Fitness to Drive medical standards
    • When health professionals complete the form online, patients will no longer need to take their paper form to a Service NSW Centre
      Visit NSW Health website for more information.
  • Secondary Triage for Residential Aged Care Facilities in NSW
    Read information on this program for residents and their families and residential aged care facility healthcare workers.
  • 15 July 2020 COVID-19 update
    Read COVID-19 update for GPs from the Chief Health Officer regards the South Western Sydney outbreak.
  • COVID-19 healthcare worker updated information alert (Aged Care Facility Public Health Order)
    The Minister has made a direction under s7 of the Public Health Act 2010 in relation to aged care facilities, the Public Health (COVID-19 Aged Care Facilities) Order (No 2) 2020. The direction continues to require staff and visitors of the residential care facility to have an up to date vaccination against influenza. However, this is not required if the person has a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccination and has provided the facility with an attached approved form ,signed by a medical practitioner. Key changes:
    • care and support visits are no longer restricted to 2 hours, and a resident can receive more than one care and support visit per day (by a maximum of 2 visitors together)
    • those under the age of 16 can now visit under the same restrictions as other visitors – no longer only for end-of-life
    • personal care services can resume.
  • Collection of nasal and throat swabs
    Updated NSW Health guideline for Collection of nasal and throat swabs for respiratory virus testing, 7 June 2020, is available at the NSW Health website.
  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDNA National Guidelines
    Read more about a generic guideline for respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, and is updated to align with current NSW Health recommendations for infection control, and public heath recommendations for respiratory specimen collection from CDNA, as given in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units which is available at the NSW Health website.
  • PHLN guideline: COVID-19 SWAB COLLECTION: Upper respiratory specimen
    Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN) infographic shows how to collect an upper respiratory specimen to test for COVID-19. View it here.
  • Advice regarding routine vaccine – 5 June 2020
    Senior Influenza Vaccine (>65 years) is out of stock. Find out more.
  • Shortage of metformin modified-release 500 mg
    The TGA has published its first Serious Shortage Medicines Substitution Notice for metformin modified release tablets. Read more.
  • Australia’s National COVID-19 Primary Care Response – MJA
    The Medical Journal of Australia released an article about Australia’s National COVID-19 Primary Care Response on 29 April 2020. You can read it here.
  • Independent medical examinations and reports during the COVID-19
    SIRA has issued a guidance in relation to the undertaking of independent medical examinations and reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MASK order forms
    MASKS are available via your local PHN. Apply here.
  • Cremation process
    NSW Health is reviewing the requirements of the cremation process (including viewing the body) in the light of COVID19. The advice for funeral directors about viewing bodies may be useful The process for certifying death is unchanged.


Join the RACGP NSW&ACT Facebook group to chat with your colleagues and stay up to date.


RACGP NSW&ACT, together with NSW Health are delivering regular webinars for GPs in NSW.


Upcoming webinars


View previous webinars

Please see this document for Q&As from the webinars including PPE, testing, pathology labs, self-isolation, and case and close contact.


Podcasts

RACGP has an ongoing series of COVID-19 podcasts to assist you to keep up to date. Most of them are 5–10 minutes long,  you can listen to them anytime.


Practice THAT! Podcast series for the practice manager

Just a GP


Articles

PHN

Phone

Email

Website

Central and Eastern Sydney

1300 986 991

info@cesphn.com.au

http://www.cesphn.org.au

Hunter New England and Central Coast

1300 859 028

info@hneccphn.com.au

http://www.hneccphn.com.au/

Murrumbidgee

(02) 6923 3100

ceo@mphn.org.au

http://www.mphn.org.au/

Nepean Blue Mountains

(02) 4708 8100

admin@nbmphn.com.au

http://www.nbmphn.com.au

North Coast

(02) 6618 5400

enquiries@ncphn.org.au

http://www.ncphn.org.au

Northern Sydney

(02) 9432 8250

info@snhn.org.au

http://www.sydneynorthhealthnetwork.org.au

South Eastern NSW

1300 069 002

info@coordinare.org.au

http://www.coordinare.org.au

South Western Sydney

(02) 4632 3000

enquiries@swsphn.com.au

http://www.swsphn.com.au

Western NSW

1300 699 167

admin@wnswphn.org.au

http://www.wnswphn.org.au

Western Sydney

(02) 8811 7100

wentwest@wentwest.com.au

http://www.wentwest.com.au


RACGP NSW&ACT

Phone: (02) 9886 4700 

Email: nswact.faculty@racgp.org.au

Join the RACGP NSW&ACT Facebook group to chat with your colleagues and stay up to date


3rd round of the Quick Clinician Survey on COVID for policy impact
The ANU Medical School's GP unit is leading the Australian arm of an international research for policy project. The survey aims to track the response and capacity of primary care practices to deal with COVID-19 as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic on "usual" general practice. Round 3 of the survey opens on 19 June and closes on the 24 June 2020. Take a survey.

Series 1 – Quick COVID Clinician Survey Summary (Australia)
ANU has conducted a survey amongst Australian GPs on COVID-19 impact. Please see results..

Free online courses on communicating COVID-19
The University of Melbourne have developed an online course with the Doherty Institute on COVID-19. It is delivered via a series of eight tutorials with the first one available online now. It is FREE and whilst primarily designed for clinicians in primary care and hospital-based settings, it also has a broader secondary audience of pharmacists, nursing and allied health staff, aged care workers, and disability care workers. Enrol here.

Information for patients content
Murrumbidgee PHN has recorded two videos about the general practice during COVID: We're Here For You and GP – We are here for you. Add these to your practice website or create your own.

'I don't see us winning this war': Health workers plagued by information crisis
Dr Charlotte Hespe was upset when she saw acquaintances circulating emails that promoted bogus coronavirus prevention measures. To make it worse, the information claimed to be from an infectious disease expert when it wasn't. In her Sydney general practice, visitors have requested prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug promoted by US President Donald Trump as a treatment for coronavirus, despite a lack of evidence for it working. Read in ABC News.

Bulk-billed telehealth
Although is a legislative requirement that the new telehealth services must be bulk billed for Commonwealth concession card holders, children under 16 years old and patients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, health providers may apply their usual billing practices to the telehealth items for patients who do not fit the above criteria. Read more about bulk-billed MBS telehealth Services

AH&MRC update
The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council has collected the most important information about COVID-19 for their members on their website.

PIP information
Temporary increases to incentive payments for general practices due to COVID-19 are available. These incentive payments will increase support for bulk billed services and ensure patients keep access to essential face-to-face care. Find out more.

COB Lifehouse COVID19 free
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse remains COVID19 free and is NSW’s and ACT’s dedicated cancer-only hospital. The multidisciplinary GP Direct Access Cancer team is available to triage and support referring GPs and their patients, to put in place treatment plans as we all navigate through the COVID19 crisis for: new patient consults including Telehealth and rapid access for urgent appointments. Visit Chris O’Brien Lifehouse website for more information.

Virtual Health Workforce
RDN is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from GPs, nurses, allied health professionals, specialists, practice managers and administrators who can provide telehealth support to communities. Complete this EOI form and a member of the RDN NSW Workforce Team will be in touch.