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Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN)—helping northern Queenslanders live happier, healthier, longer lives  |  nqphn.com.au 
20 January 2022

COVID-19 vaccine GP update (20 January 2022)

Information contained in this alert is current as at Thursday 20 January 2022. Please ensure it is distributed to all clinical staff in your practice. 

In this update:

UPDATE – GP assessment of suspected COVID-19

The Queensland Health GP assessment of suspected COVID-19 flow chart (v2.05) has been updated and renamed to replace the GP assessment and management of patients COVID-19 flow chart.

These changes are in accordance with CDNA SoNG v.6.4 which was updated on 14 January 2022.

The updated flow chart is available on the Information for primary care webpage

RACGP resources for managing COVID-positive patients

RACGP has developed a series of resources to assist GPs in managing COVID-positive patients and those presenting with COVID-19 symptoms:

Clinical resources

Patient resources

Medicare Support in Response to Omicron – GP and Other Medical Practitioners (OMP) Longer Telephone Consultation

The Australian Government has temporarily expanded telehealth support to GPs, OMPs and their patients in response to the Omicron variant.

MBS items 92746 (for GPs) and 92747 (for OMPs) will be available until 30 June 2022 for practitioners delivering longer telephone consultations, lasting 20 minutes or more.

Due to the increasing prevalence of the Omicron variant, these services are available nationally. All Medicare eligible Australians can receive these services based on normal telehealth eligibility requirements and exemptions.

Pulmonary Function Testing during SARS-CoV-2 Outbreaks: Preliminary Guidance from TSANZ/ANZSRS

The joint TSANZ/ANZSRS working party for Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) and COVID-19 is preparing a document for distribution in late January 2022 providing advice on the safe performance of pulmonary function testing as SARS-CoV-2 transitions from pandemic to endemic in Australia and New Zealand.

Read the advice and key messages.

COVID-19 support resources for patients

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 and are deemed low risk by Queensland Health may also call GPs requesting reassurance or advice about what to do. You can direct them to:

Your patients may ask you what to do to prepare. You can direct them to:

COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests that are approved in Australia

The TGA has produced a table with approved COVID-19 self-tests (home use tests) for supply in Australia, and detailed each test's clinical sensitivity.

The TGA's performance requirements for COVID rapid antigen self-tests are internationally aligned with technical specifications published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission.

This includes a minimum clinical sensitivity of at least 80 per cent (for specimens collected within 7 days of symptom onset) and a minimum clinical specificity of at least 98 per cent.

RACGP Webinar - Family based management of COVID-19

RACGP Queensland in collaboration with Queensland Children's Hospital is holding a free webinar for Queensland based GPs on Thursday 20 January 2022 from 7pm-8.30pm in Brisbane (AEST).

Three GPs will share case studies of families they are managing with COVID-19, backed by best practice insights from specialists working in COVID-19 virtual wards, including a paediatrician, obstetrician, infectious disease specialist and general practitioner.

There will be time for Q&A at the end.

Webinar - COVID-19 vaccine updates for primary care

In last week's webinar from the Australian Government Department of Health, Professor Michael Kidd and Dr Lucas de Toca provided the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for general practitioners.

The next primary care webinar will be held on Thursday 20 January 2022 from 10.30am-11am AEST. Panellists will be Dr Ruth Vine, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health and Dr Lucas de Toca. The discussion will continue to focus on mental health care for medical professionals and their patients, as well as updates on the vaccine rollout.

Previous webinars in this series are available on-demand.

RACGP webinar on improving wellbeing for rural GPs


RACGP is hosting a free rural health webinar on reducing burnout and improving wellbeing for rural GPs, which is now open for registrations.

Date: Thursday 3 February 2022
Time: 7pm–8pm AEST
CPD: 2 points.

Event, workshop and training calendar


Have you checked out the Events Calendar on the NQPHN website?

Visit www.nqphn.com.au/events to view a full calendar of events, workshops, and trainings happening across the Cape and Torres, Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay regions.

Australian COVID-19 vaccine rollout – latest statistics

 
Learn how Australia's vaccine rollout is tracking with daily updated statistics published on the Australian Department of Health website.

Recommended COVID-19 resources

NQPHN is committed to supporting you during the COVID-19 pandemic, so please be assured we will update you with the relevant information from the Australian Government Department of Health and Queensland Health as and when we receive it.
 
To help you receive timely and clear information regarding COVID-19, NQPHN uses a subject line starting with ‘COVID-19:’ in all our email correspondence to you, so please prioritise accordingly.
 
NQPHN also recommends the following COVID-19 websites, so you can track the latest clinical advice and keep informed about COVID-19:

If you have any queries, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact NQPHN at preparednessandresponse@nqphn.com.au
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's First Nation Peoples and the Traditional Custodians of this land. We respect their continued connection to land and sea, country, kin, and community. We also pay our respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging as the custodians of knowledge and lore.
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