Dr Peter Silberberg, Chair NCPHN’s Northern Clinical Council

Dr Peter Silberberg, a GP at Jullums Aboriginal Medical Service in Lismore and Chair of NCPHN’s Northern Clinical Council, has signed up to trial the Orion Shared Care tool to enhance communication between teams of health care professionals. And he recommends other GPs take a look at it.

The Orion Shared Care Tool is a collaboration between the Northern NSW Local Health District, North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) and NSW Health’s eHealth. It is a shared care planning tool for patients with complex and chronic needs. It allows the GP and other team members to create and update a living care plan.

It lets care team members add other information about the patient and makes it easier to securely share information between care team members. The tool integrates with Medical Director and Best Practice for GPs. Other clinicians access it via a web portal.

Dr Nathan Kesteven

Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019 to all.

This brief report is to inform members about an this issue the the Board has been discussing for some time; the next step for the development of the NRGPN.

On 13th December 2018 at 6.00 pm we are holding a meeting at the Goonellabah Tavern to discuss the proposal to dissolve the Northern Rivers General Practice Network and launch Nordocs in its place.

Active users get a gold star

Secure medical communication started in Australia in the mid-nineties with simple home spun solutions. Since then a number of companies have developed secure communication as a service to medical practitioners. Over the ensuing years some of the early providers have disappeared and there has been consolidation in the market.

The current providers’ systems are incompatible with each other, making it frustrating for end users who complain it is like being on Optus but not being able to call Telstra phones. While it is feasible to bridge data from one provider to another, it is never in an individual company’s interest to enable this.

The fear is losing customers to a rival or worse incurring the technology costs while the rival reaps the income. Discussions aimed at progressing a solution have been ongoing for years but the business problem has yet to be solved.

"China must be very interesting."
"Very big, China."
"And Japan"
"Very small."
(Noel Coward, Private Lives, Cathay Hotel, Shanghai, 1930)

Chinese civilisation dates back several millennia. Its history is one of successive dynasties rising and falling as a result of war and conquest. Unlike Western societies its culture has been one of almost continuous development and many of the West’s societal, agricultural and industrial processes started there. On every level, China’s development is continuing at a frenetic rate.

Greg Hunt, MP

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt went public on 27 October to promote the government’s decision to list on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme a costly immunotherapy cancer drug that will give more than 1000 Australians with advanced lung cancer access to the discounted medication.

Without PBS subsidy Keytruda would cost around $188,000 a year, or $11,300 per script. Patients will now pay $39.50 per script, or $6.40 for concessionals. In so doing, patients will be able to avoid chemotherapy. The drug is delivered intravenously, usually every three weeks.