In Practice: Women in Public Health

Morgan Liotta

13/07/2023 3:02:45 PM

A new network is aiming to reduce the gap between the number of women employed in the public health workforce and those in senior positions.

Female GP with patient
A new network is aiming to reduce the gap between the number of women employed in the public health workforce and those in senior positions.

This week’s In Practice also includes legal requirements for GPs prescribing drugs of dependence, as well as a raft of other upcoming face-to-face and online CPD workshops, and a medical receptionist course for non-medical practice staff.
Women in Public Health launches in Australia 
Women make up three-quarters of the public health workforce but are appointed to fewer than half of all senior leadership positions – and the Women in Public Health network aims to change this. 
Launched in June by founding members, including former GP and Federal MP for Mackellar Dr Sophie Scamps, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education CEO Caterina Giorgi, and University of Queensland First Nations Cancer and Wellbeing Research Team Project Manager Nicole Hewlett, in its first week the network grew to more than 400 women. 
The network aims to advance gender equity in public health leadership by connecting women in the sector, elevating their voices, highlighting the inequity that still exists. Membership is free and open to anyone who works, volunteers or studies in an area that progresses health outcomes.
To become a member and complete the survey to guide the Women in Public Health network’s priorities, visit the website.
MATOD face-to-face workshops
On 1 July, treatment medicines for opioid dependency such as methadone and buprenorphine were introduced to the PBS, which is expected to benefit around 55,000 Australians accessing treatment for opioid dependency.
The RACGP provides accredited training for GPs and other health practitioners in Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD).
The MATOD workshops are a hybrid format consisting of some online work prior to the half day face-to-face workshop. On completion of modules 1 and 2, prescribers will be trained and recognised as an authorised prescriber for methadone- and buprenorphine-based assisted treatment of opioid dependence, and provided access to an additional module on long-acting injectable buprenorphine.
CPD: EA 5 hours, RP 5 hours
Date: Saturday 5 August, 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Location: Ballarat Community Health Centre, 12 Lilburne St, Lucas, Victoria
Register online.  

Date: Saturday 26 August, 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Location: Mentone Activity Hub, 29 Venice Street, Mentone, Victoria
Register online.  
Legalities of prescribing drugs of dependence
The RACGP Victorian International Medical Graduate Committee is hosting a workshop focused on what GPs need to know about WorkCover and the legalities of prescribing drugs of dependence.
Dr Shaun Salimi, medical advisor for the Victorian WorkCover authority, will present Workcover processes, billing, and return-to-work plans.
Dr Paul Grinzi, senior medical educator for the RACGP’s General Practice Training Program and the Alcohol and Other Drugs GP Education Program, will present the clinical and legislative responsibilities for GPs when prescribing drugs of dependence and how to manage inappropriate prescription requests.
Date: Saturday 29 July, 9.30 am – 1.45 pm
Cost: RACGP members: $49, non-members: $69 (morning tea included)
Location: RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria
CPD: EA 2.5 hours, RP 1.5 hours
Register online.
Post COVID-19 Community of Practice
GPs and nurse practitioners can collaborate to improve care and increase understanding of the physical, mental, and emotional effects of post COVID-19 through the Post COVID-19 Community of Practice workshop.
Attendees will hear from a range of professions and their response to post COVID, including those working in long COVID clinics, psychotherapy, chronic fatigue and allied health.
Date: Saturday 19 August, 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Location: RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria
CPD: RP 4 hours
Register online.
Treatment options for overactive bladder and faecal incontinence
Incontinence is the second most prevalent health condition in Australia, following mental health illnesses, with one in four Australians experiencing overactive bladder and one in 12 living with faecal incontinence.
However, due to the associated stigma, lack of awareness and normalisation of symptoms, patients are often hesitant to present to healthcare professionals to explore their treatment options, thus it continues to be one of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated health conditions.
In this webinar, in partnership with Medtronic, GPs can learn about the challenges of identifying patients with functional incontinence, methods of diagnosis, and the utilisation of the guidelines-based care pathway of treatment options for patients.
Webinar: Tuesday 18 July, 7.00 – 8.00 pm (AEST) 
CPD: 1 EA hour
Register online (registrants who cannot attend will be provided a recording link).
Medical receptionist course
Date: Thursday 24 August 8.30 am – 4.30 pm and Friday 25 August 9.00 am – 4.30 pm
Location: RACGP office, Level 12, 1 Pacific Highway, North Sydney
Staff of RACGP members: Early bird rate $380/regular rate $420
Staff of non-members: Early bird rate $440/regular rate $485
If three or more from one practice, third and subsequent participants are at a discounted rate of $198.00 per person.
This two-day workshop presented by RACGP NSW&ACT will cover a range of topics relevant for non-medical practice staff to increase staff skills and confidence.
Learning outcomes include:

  • the importance of the reception role in the practice patient relationship: communication; professionalism; responsibilities
  • the fundamentals for support staff: privacy, risk identification and improvement, data quality
  • the receptionists’ role in critical systems: recalls, reminders; appointment booking, triage; telephone messages; patient identification; guardianship and child consent; billing and practice process
  • managing multiple doctors and handling difficult and physically aggressive patients
  • what working vicariously for a medical practitioner really means. Exploring the legal responsibilities of the admin team.
Registration for the early bird rate ends Friday 11 August.
Register online.
Supporting people living with dementia
The fourth installment of the RACGP Specific Interests and Dementia Training Australia webinar series will focus on recognising and managing behaviours to support patients living with dementia.
Webinar: Monday 17 July, 7.00 – 8.00 pm (AEST)
CPD: 1 EA hour
Register online.
Other webinars in this series are available on the RACGP website.
Quick guide for GPs treating veterans with cancer
For GPs who have patients with a cancer diagnosis who have served in the ADF, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) may cover the cost of their treatment, even if the cancer is unrelated to their service. This new DVA quick guide for GPs and specialists treating veterans with a cancer diagnosis provides details on how GPs and specialists can help.
Equally Well 2023 Symposium
The Equally Well 2023 conference will take place 25–27 July in Sydney and is free for all attendees.
It brings together stakeholders who are working in the area of improving the physical health outcomes of people living with mental illness. This year’s theme ‘Becoming an equally well country: Working collaboratively to reduce health inequality’, explores a wide range of topics with speakers from across Australia and internationally sharing their latest research and insights.     
More information, including the full program, is available on the website
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female leaders In Practice MATOD opioid dependence treatment public health

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