March 2020

Chair report

Message from the RACGP SA&NT Chair, Dr Zakaria Baig

Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter.

I would like to start the newsletter by addressing a global concern that has been all over the news – COVID-19. The virus continues to spread and now involves more than 100 countries worldwide. At this stage, data suggests that the virus largely tends to self-resolve after a period of flu-like illness. We suggest that GPs ensure they have an outbreak plan in place at their practice should an outbreak occur within your community. For the latest updates, please visit the RACGP website or the SA Health website. We are updating our website with the latest information as it becomes available.

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to announce the launch of our own private Facebook group. We hope that this will provide a space for SA&NT GPs to connect, share ideas and collaborate. I encourage you all to join.

National Close the Gap Day is on 19 March. I urge you all to show your support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality. This day provides us with the opportunity to bring people together, to raise awareness and take meaningful action in support of achieving change. Please visit the RACGP website for more information on what you can do to help Close the Gap.

The 2020–22 CPD triennium is now underway. Please note that 130 points are needed. There are two mandated activities, including two CPD accredited activities and a Basic Life Support course. Once again, more information regarding the requirements can be found on the RACGP website.

Thank you and I look forward to the month ahead!

Dr Zakaria Baig


RACGP SA&NT Facebook group

RACGP SA&NT now has its own Facebook group. It is a space for SA&NT GPs to connect, share and collaborate.

RACGP SA&NT members, please join the Facebook group and start a conversation with your peers.

COVID-19 updates

A reminder for GPs to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 developments via three sites:

  • The RACGP website provides daily updates and the latest information and news specifically for GPs.
  • The SA Health website provides regular updates and information for health professionals and links to other relevant sites.
  • For up-to-the-minute information, visit the Australian Federal Government Department of Health website

Welcome new Fellows

RACGP SA&NT is pleased to congratulate the following GPs who attained RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) in February:
  • Dr Farhana Akhter
  • Dr Syed Ali
  • Dr Zainulabdeen Alsharshawi
  • Dr James Ashby
  • Dr Wendy Baker
  • Dr Kirushanthan Balendranathan
  • Dr Sean Black-Tiong
  • Dr Nicholas Byrne
  • Dr Brian Charters
  • Dr Xin Loong Chaw
  • Dr Srinadh Chepuri
  • Dr Lauren Christian
  • Dr Cyrus Davani
  • Dr Rajib Debnath
  • Dr Daniel Dzimano
  • Dr Hui Fern Fang
  • Dr Kathryn Grocke
  • Dr Imad Hussain
  • Dr Trish Kahawita
  • Dr Emily Kilner
  • Dr Aung Kyaw
  • Dr Julia Lees
  • Dr Pei-Chen Lin
  • Dr Alexander Main
  • Dr Ralph Mangohig
  • Dr Simon Merrett
  • Dr Christian Mingorance
  • Dr Tessa Moody
  • Dr Lars Paschburg
  • Dr David Pena Leal
  • Dr Naressa Pohlman
  • Dr Remona Pungutan
  • Dr Sally Robinson
  • Dr Christopher Roeger
  • Dr Katie Rogers
  • Dr Alice Schroers
  • Dr Zhiqiang Jeremy Seow
  • Dr Huan Jian Sia
  • Dr Zoe Teh
  • Dr Tendai Tagwira
  • Dr Ashton Taplin
  • Dr Georgina Taylor
  • Dr Dinapalage Thilakarathne
  • Dr Sai Si Won Tip
  • Dr Prashant Tripathi
  • Dr Kerstin Tromans
  • Dr Myo Tun
  • Dr Cristina Valero
  • Dr Pei Lin Wang
  • Dr Wendy Wen
  • Dr Hashinee Weraduwage
  • Dr Arunashantha Wijayaratne
  • Dr Simone Williams

Fellowship corner

2020.1 KFP results released Wednesday 18 March
2020.1 AKT results released Thursday 2 April
2020.1 Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)
(enrolments close 6 April 2020)
Saturday 23 May
SA&NT pre-exam courses
2020.1 OSCE preparation workshop – Adelaide Saturday 4 April
2020.1 OSCE pre-exam workshop – Darwin Saturday 18 April
2020.2 KFP online pre-exam webinar series Thursdays 23 and 30 April and 7 May
2020.1 Simulated OSCE – Darwin Saturday 9 May

National news

2020 RACGP Foundation Research Grants now open

The RACGP Foundation is delighted to offer more than $450,000 in general practice research grant and award funding to GPs and general practice registrars. With continued support from our funding partners and members, the RACGP Foundation can provide vital research grants each year. The research conducted by our GP researchers advances medicine and plays a vital role in the health of the nation.

Expressions of interest for the Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd (TGL) / RACGP Foundation Research Grant will close on Monday 4 May.

Applications close Monday 1 June 2020.

For further information, please visit the Foundation Grants web page.

New fact sheet – Drugs of dependence: Responding to requests

Drugs of dependence, defined as prescription medicines that have a recognised therapeutic need but also a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence, can make a valuable contribution to patient care. However, problematic or risky use of these medicines, along with harmful outcomes, is now more prevalent, and GPs are likely to be exposed to increased requests for prescriptions.

There is no single profile for people who develop problematic or risky use of drugs of dependence and patients may knowingly or unknowingly use these medicines in problematic or risky ways for a variety of reasons. Responding to requests for these medicines requires a nuanced approach for each patient.

To assist GPs and practice teams, the RACGP has developed the fact sheet Drugs of dependence: Responding to requests, which outlines behaviours suggesting problematic or risky use of these medicines, considerations for responding to requests, available prescription monitoring services and resources and practice-wide approaches which may assist in managing requests for drugs of dependence.

This fact sheet is available on the RACGP website.

External news

Collection centre at The Repat for Coronavirus specimen collection

A new collection centre has been established at the Repatriation General Hospital at Daw Park, (The Repat) for the collection of specimens from patients with potential novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Repat Collection Centre enables only respiratory collections and these are performed in the patient’s vehicle, reducing the risk of person-to-person contamination and providing a greater level of reassurance to the wider community.

Accessing the Repat Collection Centre:

  • Patients must be booked into this service to ensure a controlled flow.
  • Bookings are to be made by the practice. Call 08 8222 3000. The practice is to advise the patient of date and time of booking.
  • Fax the request form to SA Pathology on 08 7117 5085.
  • The service is available Monday to Friday, 8.00 am – 4.30 pm.
  • Access is via Gate 4, 216 Daws Road, then follow the signs.
  • Please ask patients to remain in their car. The SA Pathology staff will come to them
  • Instruct the patient to remain in isolation until the results have been communicated to them by you.

SA Pathology continues to offer a dedicated metropolitan Adelaide Domiciliary Service staffed by nurses for the collection of potential COVID-19 specimens within the patient’s home. The service is available Monday to Friday, 8.00 am – 4.30 pm. Approval from the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) is required for this service via 1300 232 272.

Please refer to the SA Pathology website for further updates.

SA Health update

Multi-drug resistant (MDR) Shigella outbreak continues

In December 2018, a public health alert about MDR Shigella affecting gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in metropolitan Adelaide was released. Since January 2020, there has been a noticeable increase in cases of MDR Shigella sonnei biotype G cases in Adelaide MSM aged 40-60.

Please ensure culture and sensitivity testing is requested on faecal specimens from all persons presenting with diarrhoea who identify as MSM. Specific antibiotics are recommended for treatment. Further information can be found on the SA Health website.

SA 2020 Funded Influenza Program

View the SA Health website for the latest details and resources available on the 2020 Funded Influenza Program.

Updated information is available on the Vaccine Distribution Centre (VDC) noticeboard regarding vaccine availability and ordering. Please check this site daily during the influenza season.

For general information on communicable diseases, visit the Communicable Disease Control Branch website or call 1300 232 272.

Health monitoring – Crystalline silica

Health monitoring – Crystalline silica

Safe Work Australia have published their national guidance for health monitoring of workers with high exposure risk to crystalline silica.

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must provide health monitoring for workers if they carry out ongoing work using, handling, generating or storing crystalline silica, and there is a significant risk to the worker’s health because of exposure.

The Crystalline Silica Health Monitoring Guide is intended for registered medical practitioners who are engaged by a PCBU to carry out or supervise health monitoring. It provides practical guidance about the associated requirements under the work health and safety (WHS) regulations.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.

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