In Practice: Managing syphilis in general practice

Morgan Liotta

17/02/2022 1:15:53 PM

The RACGP is giving members the chance to upskill their syphilis diagnosis and management, to help combat an ongoing rise in cases.

Doctor in serious discussion with male patient
GPs should be aware of a rise in syphilis cases across Australia.

This week’s round up also includes a reminder about correct usage of diagnostic vascular MBS items, new My Health Record sessions for hospital staff, and the college’s upcoming webinars to earn CPD points.
GPs’ role in combatting Australia’s new syphilis epidemic
Webinar: Wednesday 23 March, 7.30–9.30 pm (AEDT)
Eligible for four CPD points
While Australia has made some notable progress in the management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), syphilis remains a significant public health challenge.

GPs have a crucial role in reducing the prevalence of syphilis in the community through early diagnosis, testing and re-testing at-risk patients, in addition to providing timely and appropriate antibiotic treatments.

This webinar will provide an important update on the specific skills and actions to improve prevention, detection and treatment of syphilis by GPs, including:

  • comprehensive syphilis testing and treatment
  • achieving earlier detection of primary, secondary, and asymptomatic infection
  • opportunistic testing as part of the time-limited consultation
  • preparedness for universal (up to five times) testing during and post-pregnancy
  • how to test, screen and manage syphilis in a culturally appropriate and inclusive manner
  • accessing clinical advice and support at point of care.
Register online.
Correct use of diagnostic vascular MBS items
MBS items 11610 and 11611 are used to conduct Doppler tests for suspected vascular disease. Item 11610 refers to the measurement of the ankle, and item 11611 refers to the measurement of the wrist.
GPs are reminded that Medicare payments for these items are only payable where the services are clinically relevant and the item descriptor has been met in every circumstance. They should not be used as a screening tool.
My Health Record sessions for hospital staff
Enabling hospital staff access to health information contained in My Health Record can reduce the instance of adverse medication events, including hospital re-admissions, decrease duplicate diagnostic testing and improve continuity of care for patients across the primary and secondary care sectors.

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) is now conducting regular My Health Record sessions for hospital staff. The 30-minute sessions will be held fortnightly until Easter, commencing Thursday 17 February.

The sessions will cover:
  • pathology and diagnostic report viewing
  • medicines information
  • discharge summaries
  • primary care shared health and event summaries
  • advance care planning documents
  • general security and access compliance processes.
Further information is available on the ADHA website.
Hepatitis B for primary care providers
Webinar: Tuesday 22 February, 7.00−8.30 pm (AEDT)
GPs play an important part in ensuring improved health outcomes for people with hepatitis B, through testing, diagnosis, informed clinical management and support of individuals and families.
In partnership with ASHM, this webinar provides an overview of the care and management of hepatitis B.
Register online.     
Are your dermatology skills only skin deep?
The RACGP’s Certificate of Primary Care Dermatology, supported by Sonic Healthcare, has been developed to help GPs and GPs in training increase their expertise and confidence when presented with dermatological cases in their practice.
GPs can register for the certificate at any time of the year and complete it at their own pace within three years.
In-person workshops have now been announced for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2022, pending COVID restrictions. More information is available on the RACGP website.
RACGP Shop: Your college, your collection
Members can browse the RACGP Shop for a range of college-branded products including casual wear, gifts or work-related items − from caps and cycling jerseys to novelty socks and commemorative polos.
All purchases help strengthen the great work of the RACGP Foundation, with 75% of profits directed to support general practice research that benefits members, general practice and the health of the nation.
Australian Healthcare Week
Australia’s largest free healthcare event is taking place 16−17 March in Sydney.
GPs and GPs in training can experience innovations and learning opportunities to enhance their professional development. 
Further details and registrations are available online.
Log in below to join the conversation.

CPD In Practice MBS items STI syphilis

newsGP weekly poll Have any of your patients had issues accessing COVID antivirals (via the PBS) after you have prescribed them?

newsGP weekly poll Have any of your patients had issues accessing COVID antivirals (via the PBS) after you have prescribed them?



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