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COVID-19: GP Alert (26 June 2020)

June 26, 2020

Category 3 specialist outpatient appointments

Director-General of Queensland Health Dr John Wakefield PSM has advised that from 1 July 2020, hospital and health services (HHSs) across Queensland will start to process Category 3 referrals which have been returned to general practice or put on hold since late March 2020.

Read the full letter from Dr Wakefield

Consider COVID-19 testing when seeing recent travellers from Victoria

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young on 21 June 2020 updated the number of declared COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria. The declared hotspots now include all 31 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Greater Melbourne, as well as five bordering LGAs - Murrindindi, Mitchell, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges and Greater Geelong. Hotspots are declared under the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Banyule CityBayside CityBoroondara City
Brimbank CityCardinia ShireCasey City
Darebin CityFrankston CityGlen Eira City
Greater Dandenong CityGreater Geelong CityHobsons Bay City
Hume CityKingston CityKnox City
Macedon Ranges ShireManningham CityMaribyrnong City
Maroondah CityMelbourne CityMelton City
Mitchell ShireMonash CityMoonee Valley City
Moorabool ShireMoreland CityMornington Peninsula Shire
Murrindindi ShireNillumbik ShirePort Phillip City
Stonnington CityWhitehorse CityWhittlesea City
Wyndham CityYarra CityYarra Ranges Shire

The determination on COVID-19 hotspots is for the purpose of:

healthdirect Video Call GP COVID-19 Program and Call Service Pilot Program

To support the secure delivery of video-based consultations, the Department of Health has worked with healthdirect Australia to provide free licences to healthdirect Video Call for every GP in Australia until 30 September 2020.

The Department of Health has funded licences for GPs to align with current timelines of the Targeted Action Stage of the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19. The program supports usage of the GP MBS Telehealth items for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 GP Program is designed to keep our GPs and their patients safe as we continue to use telehealth to support a blended healthcare model.

Many PHNs are already working with healthdirect to provide the GP COVID-19 Program to their general practice networks. If you haven’t already, please use this Registration link to sign up for a free licence for healthdirect Video Call.


healthdirect Australia are pleased to announce that the healthdirect Video Call Service Pilot Program has been refunded by the Department of Health until 30 June 2021.

The Department of Health is currently reviewing the Program to ensure it is focused on supporting key areas of primary care. This means that from 30 September 2020 eligibility criteria will change.

healthdirect are working with the Department of Health regarding implementation of the changes to the Pilot Program and will update PHNs when further information is available.

More information about both programs can be found in our FAQ page.



As a result of COVID-19, many general practices around Australia have chosen to undergo telehealth consultations. In this AGPAL webinar, presenters Dr Paresh Dawda and Mr Gary Smith discuss telehealth in general practice, the logistics, workflow, business models, MBS, and Provider numbers along with accreditation requirements and other challenges.


The Australian Digital Health Agency recently held a webinar to discuss e-prescribing, and addressed the accelerated initiative announced as part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan.
Watch the webinar


Katrina Otto, one of Australia's leading medical software trainers, presents the following webinars to help general practices:

  • learn about the changes in the prescribing processes in Bp Premier and MedicalDirector Clinical
  • discuss the use of the token model and patient impact of changes to electronic prescribing
  • explore ideas for improved use of My Health Record for medication and results management.

Tuesday, 30 June
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Electronic transfer of prescriptions using Bp Premier (including My Health Record)
Register for this webinar using the link on the event flyer.

Wednesday, 8 July
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Electronic transfer of prescriptions using MedicalDirector (including My Health Record)
Register for this webinar using the link on the event flyer.

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: