Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Program - Newsletter Edition 14

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2018

- Registrations OPEN

'Resilience in Rural Communities'

To be held at the LGH & NICS, Launceston on March 24-25th, 2018

Rural Emergency Skills Training course @ NICS March 22-23rd, 2018

To register, please visit Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2018

Email us: TasRuralHealthConference2018@dhhs.tas.gov.au

Director - Rural Pathways news

Happy New Year!

A special shout out to those of you starting new roles in 2018.

It is the first year Tasmania has had rural primary care interns. They will be working in Queenstown, King Island, Flinders Island, St Helens and Huon Valley and have already made news headlines.

We are also excited to announce that registration for the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2018 for the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2018 'Resilience in Rural Communities' is now OPEN. Please visit Eventbrite - Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2018 to register for the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference. To register for the pre-conference Rural Emergency Skills Training (REST) workshop, visit the ACRRM website. Remember if you are a rural GP who works in an emergency facility, you may be eligible for the Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP).

So what is happening at the Conference this year? A draft program is published on the registration site and this newsletter includes some information on some of the sessions you might be interested in attending.


Professor Paul Worley the inaugural National Rural Health Commissioner is attending the conference on Sunday. He will be speaking at 9:15am and attending the 'Pathways to being a rural GP' session 9:30 - 10:30am. He wants to hear from you! What ideas do you have for the future of rural generalism?

Dr Molly Shorthouse, inaugural Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist graduate, GP at St Helens, advanced skills in Mental Health, supervisor and president of RDAT. The Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania is co-convening the conference with the Rural Medical Generalist Coordinating Council. Talk to them about how they might assist you as a rural GP.

Managing Emergencies in General Practice: FLOOD FIRE HEATWAVE

With summer here and severe weather warnings regarding potential fire occuring, it is a good time to refresh how you would manage an emergency in your general practice. Check out the 'Managing emergencies in general practice: a guide for preparation, response and recovery'. GP preparation, involvement during, and after emergencies, can support a community's resilience at this difficult time. What is your plan?

Paediatrics in Rural Practice

Last year you requested more paediatrics so we've included more in this year's program. Dr Tim Jones and Dr Sarvin Randhawa - GP Registrars and medical educators with experience and interest in paediatrics will take you through topics such as neonatal jaundice, breast feeding, constipation and gastroenteritis, asthma and the 6 week check.

What is Balint?

A Balint group is an experimental, small group educational activity in which health care professionals discuss cases from their practices with a focus on the clinician-patient relationship. Visit the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand. Many find that it builds their resilience in their work and participate on a regular basis as part of their long tern self care strategies.

Lead by experimental leaders, Dr Jenny Presser and Dr Collie Mullins, get a taste for what Balint is. Jenny has been running online Balint groups, which is perfect for rural practitioners. The Balint workshop will be limited to 10 people. Please email TasRuralHealthConference2018@dhhs.tas.gov.au to express your interest in this session.

Rustica skills session

This year we are looking to include procedures that assist in pain management. There will be opportunity to practice knee and shoulder injections on models, with additional stations in planning. This session is run by the rural student network, but is open to all participants.

Considering owning a practice?

A panel of GP owners and a practice manager will share with you their experiences and be available for an interactive panel session.

Codeine Rescheduling

From 1 Feb, 2018 all over-the-counter codeine medicines will become prescription only. The DHHS have collated resources for you to use to assist your patients through this change.

Have you completed your FACRRM or FARGP in Tasmania?

Don't forget to apply for your Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway Certificate of Completion. The conference dinner provides an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments.

Thinking about general practice training?

Then you mustn't miss the 'Pathways to being a rural GP session. Representatives from all the major training organisations will provide a great opportunity to consider which training pathway fits best for your aspirations.

Already a rural GP?

Come along and learn about additional training opportunities for yourself in areas of advanced skills, or gain more information to support the junior doctors you supervise in your practice.

Tas Rural Health Conference event by ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine): Update in Viral Hepatitis - What primary care practitioners need to know about Hepatitis B and C

There are more than 3,500 people in Tasmania estimated to be living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB); of these, 96.6%R are not receiving care. Appropriate treatment and monitoring of CHB can help to reduce the risk for cirrhosis, as well as hepatocellular carcinoma - the fastest increasing cause of cancer death in Australia.

Hepatitis C can now be cured! New treatments for hepatitis C offer a shorter duration of therapy, low toxicity and cure rates greater than 90%. The target of eliminating hepatitis C in Australia by 2026 can be achieved by increasing treatment uptake in primary care.

Primary care practitioners in rural Tasmania can help to improve the health outcomes of people living with viral hepatitis and reduce a patient's risk of developing advanced liver disease. This session will provide primary care practitioners with the knowledge to test for and diagnose hepatitis B & C, perform investigations to assess for liver disease and prescribe new treatments in accordance with the PBS requirements.

ASHM regularly runs more in depth training courses on both hepatitis B and C; this includes the HBV s100 Prescriber Program, where GPs may become accredited to prescribe highly specialised drugs for the treatment of hepatitis B in community settings. Attendees interested in further training on viral hepatitis will have the opportunity to speak to ASHM staff about applying for scholarships to attend full day courses in Sydney or Melbourne.

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve patient outcomes through early diagnosis, follow up, and appropriate management of hepatitis B and C, including vaccination for hepatitis B.
  • Ensure regular screening of at risk patients and confidently interpret hepatitis B and hepatitis C test results.
  • Assess for advanced liver disease, monitor for hepatocellular carcinoma and refer appropriately.
  • Describe new hepatitis C treatment guidelines and mechanisms for prescribing in consultation with, or without a specialist.
  • Discuss with patients the hepatitis B treatment options and importance of regular monitoring.


The new Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway Calendar is LIVE. It includes Rural Emergency Skills Training, Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound for GPs, the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference and MORE!

Email sharee.taylor@dhhs.tas.gov.au to have your event included in the Calendar.

Current DHHS Vacancies

Staff Specialist - Palliative Care

Specialist Medical Practitioner - Alcohol and Drug Service