Newsletter – February 2020


Information About Coronavirus

The Department of Health reports that as at 10 February, 15 cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been confirmed in Australia – five in Queensland, four in New South Wales, four in Victoria and two in South Australia.

Practices should contact their local state or territory health department if they have any questions regarding testing for the virus.

Several resources and further information can be found on both the Department of Health and the RACGP websites:

Communication After Trauma Course

Practice Coach Australia has developed a course specifically designed for general practice teams to support patients who have had traumatic experiences such as the recent bush fires. This free online course takes approximately one-hour. … read more.

Advice About Using Masks For Coronavirus

There has been some confusion about whether surgical masks are safe to wear when taking swabs in mild cases of suspected coronavirus. The Department of Health advice is that P2 or N95 masks, ‘must … be used while collecting specimens’ … read more.

Australian Workplace Laws

The Fair Work website has updated information regarding workplace entitlements and obligations during outbreaks of the coronavirus – this includes employees getting sick with the virus and employees getting stuck overseas or being quarantined … read more.

Fair Work Information Statement

Fair Work has recently updated the Fair Work Information Statement. This statement must be given to new employees before they start employment. The Statement can be given to new employees:

  • in person;
  • by mail;
  • by email;
  • by emailing a link to our website; or
  • by fax.

Catch-up Schedules

Active catch-up schedules have now been added to immunisation history statements. Catch-up schedules start on the day it is recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) – catch-ups cannot be back or forward dated and cannot be edited once they are entered on the AIR.

New Medicare Items

People who have been impacted by the recent bush fires – including individuals, families and emergency responders – can now access mental health treatment without a referral or mental health treatment plan.

Health professionals will be able to access new items from 17 January 2020 to 31 December 2021 … read more.

Services Australia

The Department of Human Services has a new name – Services Australia. This follows the Prime Minister's announcement last year that the department became part of the Social Services portfolio.

MBS Online

The 1 March 2020 MBS files (XML, DOC, PDF and ZIP) are now available to download: March 2020 Downloads Page.  A summary of the changes is available on the  March 2020  Latest News page.

Read our full February newsletter >