Adelaide PHN - An Australian Government Initiative

connecting you to health

Syphilis Outbreak in Nrth SA


My Health Record Opt Out Date Announced

More than five millions Australians already have a My Health Record, which provides a summary of their key health information, delivering better health outcomes for patients and their treating doctors and specialists.

Every Australian will be offered a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one during the three month opt out period that will run from 16 July to 15 October 2018.

The My Health Record system and opt out process has the full support of all state and territory governments, who unanimously agreed to this plan in August 2017 at COAG Health Council.

My Health Record also has the unanimous support from Australia’s peak health bodies, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the Consumer Health Forum.

The protection of patient information is critical and the My Health Record system has strong safeguards in place to protect the health data. It is also subject to some of the strongest legislation in the world to prevent unauthorised use.
Australians can cancel their My Health Record at any time after the end of the opt out period – or create one, if they opted out.

Read more in the media release below and get more information via the Australian Digital Health Agency's Website. 

Adelaide Project to improve Health Access for Refugees

Adelaide will develop more responsive health networks to assist refugees and new arrivals, thanks to a new project co-designed and commissioned by the Adelaide PHN.

The Adelaide Refugees and New Arrival Project will have two key functions;

  • connecting refugees and new arrivals to the most appropriate medical services, and
  • supporting a number of local GPs in delivering culturally appropriate care.

“If you have grown up in Australia, you know that you can access our health system and receive support and treatment for physical and mental health issues,” said Adelaide PHN CEO, Deb Lee.

“People from other countries with refugee experiences may have very different understanding and experiences of health - what services are available and how to find help or treatment.”

“The fact is, small issues can become big issues if not dealt with in a timely manner, which is a major part of our thinking,” Ms Lee said.

The services will be provided by the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) and Survivors of Torture and the Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS)....(see link for more)


SA Health, Adelaide PHN and Country SA PHN are pleased to announce the HealthPathways portal will be available to GPs and health professionals across South Australia from 26 March 2018.

HealthPathways is a free web based portal that gives GPs and health professionals quick access to the latest clinical information and resources relevant to patient care.

HealthPathways provides:

  • evidence based information on assessment and management of specific health conditions
  • local referral pathways and criteria
  • relevant patient resources

We encourage all GPs and health professionals in South Australia to go to the HealthPathways South Australia project site to register for a login and to find out more about the program (please see link below)

Join the Conversation: Open Invitation to Adelaide PHN Roadshows 2018

Stakeholders and members of the community are invited to an Adelaide PHN update, with a showcase of the initiatives and services put in place over the past two years.

  • Hear a snap-shot of Adelaide’s current primary health needs and what we have achieved
  • Gain an understanding of how you can contribute

For the past two years Adelaide PHN has been working with you to improve the primary health system which cares for 1.2 million people across the metropolitan region.

Presentations will include information on person-centred integrated care, collaboration, system improvement, specific services that respond to community need, how we commission and build capacity.

At each event, lunch/dinner will be provided.


Adelaide PHN 17/18 Holiday Season Closure Period

Adelaide PHN will be closed on Thursday 21st December 2017, and will re-open Monday 8th of January 2018.

The Adelaide PHN Board, Executive Team and Staff would like to wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2018.

Rescheduling of Codeine Update

From 1 February 2018, medicines that contain low-dose codeine will no longer be available without prescription in pharmacies. A consultation with a doctor will be the only way for people to obtain codeine-containing medicines after this time. It is unclear how many people will present to medical practitioners to obtain codeine-containing medicines.

The decision made to change the schedule of codeine to Prescription Only (S4) was based on research showing that over-the-counter doses of codeine offer very little additional benefits when compared to medicines without codeine. However, codeine is associated with higher health risks, such as tolerance, dependence or addiction and even accidental or intentional poisoning/overdose. 

The attached PDF contains information about who is expected to be affected by these changes and details links and resources. This document will continue to be updated as new information and training opportunities are released.

Educational events will also be highlighed across our events page and within our fortnightly Primary Links newsletter. 

Winners Announced! Adelaide Primary Health Care Awards 2017

A big congratulations to the winners of our recently drawn Adelaide PHN 2017 Primary Health Care Awards!

Designed to celebrate outstanding achievement in improving the health and wellbeing of our community across the Adelaide metropolitan region, the awards were open to both individuals or a team working within or related to an Adelaide PHN commissioned activity.

The awards were drawn across three categories and the first and second prize winners in each are listed below:

  • Workforce Development and Capacity Building
    First Prize | Community Access and Services SA (CASSA) Vietnamese Community in Australia for their Drug Treatment for Asian Drug Users in Metropolitan Adelaide Service (find out more about this service here)

    Second Prize | Uniting Communities for their New Roads – Southern Adelaide Drop in Service (find out more about this service here)
  • Collaboration for Integration
    First Prize | PsychMed & Anglicare for their Suicide Prevention Service & Short Structured Intervention Program for Suicide Attempters Service (find out more about this service here)

    Second Prize | Northern Health Network in collaboration with Life Without Barriers and Uniting Communities for the Northern Connect - Comorbid Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Program (find out more about this service here)
  • Innovation in Service Delivery
    First Prize | PsychMed for Matrix Program (find out more about this service here)

    Second Prize | Adelaide Disability Medical Service for their work in establishing the first privately operated GP clinic in SA dedicated solely to patients with disabilities (find out more about this service here)

Those receiving first place, were each awarded a professional development sponsorship to the value of $4000. Second place winners were each awarded a professional development sponsorship to the value of $1500.

APHN Primary Health Care Awards Pack

The Adelaide PHN Primary Health Care Awards are designed to celebrate outstanding achievement by our commissioned service providers in improving the health and wellbeing of our community across the Adelaide metropolitan region. 

The award could be for an individual or a team working within or related to an Adelaide PHN commissioned activity.

Nominations are open across three categories including outstanding achievement in ​​​​...

  • workforce development and capacity building
  • collaboration for integration
  • innovation in service delivery

First place in EACH category will be awarded a professional development sponsorship to the value of $4000. Second place  in EACH category will be awarded a professional development sponsorship to the value of $1500.

Nominations must be received by email no later than Friday 13th October 2017 at 5:00pm.

For more information or to nominate a PHN service provider, please download the application form below.

New Adelaide PHN Resource to Ease Hospital Demand

With Adelaide’s major hospitals currently under intense pressure, South Australians are being urged to use a new resource to ease demand on emergency departments and the SA Ambulance Service.

“Too many people present at emergency departments because they simply aren’t aware of the medical options which are available to them,” said Deb Lee, CEO of the Adelaide PHN.

“That is why we have created a searchable website called Adelaide After Hours ( which provides key information about medical services right across the metropolitan area including GPs, dentists, pharmacies, hospitals and helplines....

Adelaide After Hours Launch media Release

People of all ages and all backgrounds will benefit from a new easy-to-use website which details the full range of Adelaide’s after-hours medical services.

Adelaide PHN has created a searchable website – called Adelaide After Hours – which provides key information about after-hours medical services right across the metropolitan area including GPs, dentists, pharmacies, hospitals and helplines.

This is the first time all this information has been brought together in one place...(Please see the media release to read on)

Amendments to the Mental Health Act 2009 - Are You An Authorised Officer?

The South Australian Parliament have made major amendments to the Mental Health Act 2009 (MHA) which came into effect across the state during June 2017.

Some of the changes affect all Medical Practitioners who might need to use the powers of the MHA as they are now classified as Authorised Officers. Medical Practitioners have the following powers and responsibilities under the Act:

  • Use section 56 care and control powers (see attached Fact Sheet)
  • Make a level 1 Community Treatment Order (CTO1);
  • Apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for a level 2 Community Treatment Order (CTO2) or variation or revocation;
  • Make a level 1 Inpatient Treatment Order (ITO1);
  • Provide urgent treatment for mental illness; and
  • Seek variation or revocation by SACAT of Level 3 Inpatient Treatment Order (ITO3).

More detail about the changes can be located in a series of factsheets attached.

Training is also available on the Act amendments – contact the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist on 08 8226 1091 if you are interested in booking a session via the listed link. 

Adult Formulation Hep B Vaccine (Engerix) Shortage

SA Health is aware of supply constraints of adult formulation hepatitis B vaccine due to a precautionary halt in the manufacturing process of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Engerix-B® vaccine. Production has returned to normal, however it will take time to rebuild capacity. Seqirus vaccine, H-B-Vax II® – adult formulation, and hepatitis A and B combination vaccines can still be sourced.

The Engerix-B® and H-B-Vax II® vaccines are manufactured by different processes. Switching mid-course between monovalent hepatitis B vaccine brands is not routinely recommended, however, under the current circumstances it is acceptable. Switching mid-course between monovalent and combination vaccines is not recommended.

For more details please click the media link. 

Hep A Frozen Mixed Berries Public Health Alert

Nationally four cases of locally acquired hepatitis A virus infection have been genotyped with identical sequence to each other and to cases from the 2015 outbreak of hepatitis A associated with frozen mixed berries.

A consumer level product recall of Creative Gourmet frozen mixed berries 300gm is underway.

Medical practitioners should be alert for possible cases of hepatitis A in symptomatic individuals and request an urgent Hepatitis A IgM (and IgG) for such cases. Please also urgently notify the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) of confirmed or suspected cases by telephone. People who have eaten the berries but are asymptomatic do not need to be tested.

The incubation period is 15 to 50 days, usually 28-30 days. Patients frequently experience fever, malaise, weakness, anorexia, right upper quadrant pain, nausea and vomiting. Dark urine is usually the first specific sign of acute hepatitis A infection...(please see the attached release for more information).

Meningococcal Seasonal Reminder

For the attention of all doctors...

Notifications of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) usually increase in winter and spring.

  • Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any systemic febrile illness in any age group.
  • A rash is not always present, especially in the early stages of the disease.
  • Early recognition, immediate empirical treatment with parenteral benzylpenicillin and urgent
  • transfer to hospital can be life-saving.
  • Serogroup W and Y cases have begun to increase in Australia across all ages, including Aboriginal children, and in some cases have had atypical presentations.
  • Urgent notification to the CDCB on suspicion of IMD is vital for a timely public health response.

Please click on the full alert for more information.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP Suicide Prevention Funding Media Release

The Turnbull Government will provide a $47 million boost to front-line services for suicide prevention and directly address a growing community need.

Services will be available right across Australia and will include training for at risk families and support groups, face-to-face support for individuals in need, training for emergency response services and support for communities experiencing specific issues....

See the attached media release or list of funded services for more information.

Syphilis Outbreak in Northern SA > Public Health Alert

The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) has been closely monitoring infectious syphilis notifications in South Australia in light of a multi-jurisdictional outbreak of syphilis occurring across northern Australia. It appears that this outbreak has spread to South Australia, with sustained transmission occurring in Port Augusta, and there is the potential for spread to other regions of South Australia.

Practitioners should consider screening for syphilis in all sexually active patients. Contact SA Pathology (8222 3000) or Clinic 275 (8222 5075) if interpretation of results is required.

Practitioners should test and treat for syphilis on the day of presentation for all people with genital ulcers. Do not wait for a positive test result. Locating, testing, and treating partners of infectious cases is also important in controlling syphilis.

Please click the link for the full alert. 

Now Commissioning >> Adelaide Refugees and New Arrivals Project Request for Proposal

Adelaide Primary Health Network (PHN) is pleased to invite proposals for the provision of the Adelaide Refugees and New Arrivals Project (ARANAP).

The ARANAP Request for Proposal (RFP) seeks innovative and integrated approaches to providing refugees and new arrivals with access to quality primary health care services in the Adelaide PHN region in order to assure the right care, in the right place, at the right time. 

Please refer to our commissioning page for more information regarding the application process or for more general information see the attached media release. 

Rabies Prevention SA Health Public Health Information Sheet

Rabies causes encephalitis following infection with rabies virus or other lyssaviruses, including Australian bat lyssavirus (ABL). Infection occurs following exposure to saliva or neural tissue from an infected animal, usually through a scratch or bite.
Rabies virus in terrestrial mammals is present throughout almost all of Asia (including Bali), Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and Europe - see

Australia is currently free of rabies in terrestrial mammals, however, Australian bat lyssavirus occurs in flying foxes (fruit bats) and insectivorous microbats throughout Australia.

Click the link for info on advising patients about rabies exposure, pre-exposure vaccination, post-exposure rabies prophylaxis and management.

Media Release: HealthPathways: Online Tool to Promote Care

A new web based information tool to support General Practitioners and other health care providers is being developed to better manage patients in South Australia.

In partnership, Adelaide PHN, Country SA PHN, and SA Health will implement HealthPathways, a comprehensive, evidence based information, assessment, management and referral resource. The online tool will ensure the consistent management of patients across the state. Each pathway will be co-developed by primary and acute health sector practitioners and will be localised to SA. Health care providers will gain free access to HealthPathways via a community website.

The HealthPathways tool has been successfully implemented in health organisations across Australia and New Zealand.

Click the media link for more...

Launch of Local Aboriginal Services Directory

A One stop shop for all Aboriginal Specific Services.

Catalyst Foundation (formerly Seniors Information Service) in partnership with Turkindi Inc.  (The Indigenous Information Network of SA) today launched the Aboriginal Services Online Directory ( The Aboriginal Services Directory will provide up-to-date listings of Aboriginal Organisations, Aboriginal Businesses (owned or part owned), and non-Aboriginal Organisations and businesses providing social and community services to Aboriginal people. Currently, over 160 organisations are listed on the Aboriginal Services Online Directory.

Click the link for more info via the official media release. 

Pen CS Data Extraction Tool

The Adelaide PHN is continuing to provide General Practices in the South Australian metropolitan region the opportunity to obtain a free licence for the Pen CS software for the purposes of supporting improvements in the delivery of primary health care in South Australia.

The Adelaide PHN will be providing fully subsidised Pen CS software licences for practices that agree to share de-Identified data with the  Adelaide PHN on a regular basis.

For more information please click the full announcement link below. 

Free Access to Smartphone App to Help Consumers Better Manage Their Relationship With Alcohol

The Adelaide PHN has recently commissioned Hello Sunday Morning to provide 10 000 users with 12 months of free access to their Daybreak smartphone app across metro Adelaide. 

The Daybreak app helps drinkers cut back on their alcohol use at their own pace, &  assists them to manage their relationship with alcohol before it becomes a serious health issue.


Healtcare providers can find out more information about referring their patients under the health connections main tab on our website or by clicking here.

JUST OPEN >> Adelaide Respiratory Health Project Request for Proposal

Adelaide PHN is pleased to announce the opening of the Adelaide Respiratory Health Project (ARHP) Request for Proposal.

The 2016 Adelaide PHN Comprehensive Needs Assessment process identified extremely high prevalence rates of COPD and smoking in parts of the Adelaide PHN region and resultantly high premature mortality rates from cancers such as lung and other respiratory conditions. The ARHP will support the development and/or delivery of solutions which aim to improve outcomes for people living with COPD and Asthma, build the capacity of service providers to deliver safe and effective care, and demonstrate reductions in preventable hospitalisations for COPD and Asthma in the Adelaide PHN region.  

Program guidelines outlining the objectives, service specifications, and application process are available on and the Adelaide PHN website . Applications close  20 April 2017.

Providing certainty and funding for alcohol and drug treatment services

In a new media release The Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced that the Turnbull Government will continue to support drug and alcohol treatment services across Australia with funding of more than $75 million a year.

More information on this announcement from Adelaide PHN will follow shortly. 

Accessing your My Health Record just got easier - Launch of My Health Record App

A new app has just launched giving consumers access to their family's health records within the national My Health Record System via their iPad, iPhone or Android device. 

Want to know more about the My Health Record?

  • Health care providers can learn more and access training/support here
  • The general public can learn more about the My Health Record here


First of its kind unit to help keep children with chronic conditions out of hospital

A General Practice Liaison Unit (GPLU) has been established at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to improve the coordination of care for hundreds of South Australian children struggling with chronic conditions. The unit aims to reduce the need for SA children with chronic conditions like Type 1 Diabetes and Asthma to visit hospital.

Online Diabetic Retinopathy Course available to General Practice and General Practitioners

Mater Group is pleased to launch an online practice implementation module which provides a comprehensive guide for clinicians and managers to establish a functional diabetic retinopathy screening service.

The online module is based on the findings of a three year National Health and Medical Research Council trial and includes perspectives of patients and practitioners regarding optimal screening suitable for urban, rural and Aboriginal Medical Service Settings. It can be undertaken as a practice or GP-only training. 

Register now at

Public Health Alert: Case of Measles acquired in Indonesia

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles in a 1 year old male from metropolitan Adelaide.

Measles outbreak in Gawler continues

SA Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in a 33 year old female from metropolitan Adelaide. The case was acquired in the Gawler area.

MEDIA RELEASE - Online program set to combat postnatal depression

Online program set to combat postnatal depression

  • WONDERMUMS gives everyday mums postnatal support with anxiety, depression and lifestyle adjustments
  • Australian mums feel pressure to live up to unrealistic ‘perfect mum’ expectations

Public Health Alert: Measles outbreak in Gawler

SA Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in a 34 year old female from metropolitan Adelaide. The case is the fifth locally acquired in the Gawler area in recent months.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Treatment Services Announcement

The Adelaide PHN announces the commissioning of a range of new drug and alcohol treatment services to support people with alcohol and drug issues, including methamphetamine use, across metropolitan Adelaide.

Public Health Alert Measles is Gawler

SA Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in a 42 year old male from metropolitan Adelaide. The case is locally acquired, likely in the Gawler area. The case was in the settings listed below whilst infectious:

  • Hy-Drive Engineering, 59 Wingfield Rd, Wingfield, from 07:00 until 15:30 on Monday 17 October, and from 07:00 until 11:30 on Tuesday 18 October.
  • Hyde and Partners Medical Centre, 6 Adelaide Rd, Gawler, from 15:30 until 16:45 on Tuesday 18 October, and 15:30 until 16:30 on Thursday 20 October.
  • Gawler Health Service, from 10:30 until 13:00 on Saturday 22 October, and 08:00 until 11:00 on Sunday 23 October.

After – Hours Innovation Grants: Successful applicants

In May, APHN undertook a process for After Hours Innovation Grants. The process is now complete and the successful applicants have been advised. A number of high quality applications were received and we appreciate the effort that went into the applications. The projects commenced in August/September 2016 and will run until 30th June 2017.

Cracks in the Ice

"Cracks in the Ice" is an online toolkit providing trusted, evidence-based, and up-to-date information about crystal methamphetamine (ice) for the Australian community. In April 2015, the Commonwealth Government established a National Ice Taskforce to provide advice to Government on the impacts of ice (crystal methamphetamine) in Australia and actions needed to address this growing problem. The Final Report of this Taskforce stated that “The first priority must be supporting families, workers and communities to better respond to people affected by ice.” As part of a coordinated response to this need the Australian Government Department of Health funded development of Cracks in the Ice, an online toolkit to provide evidence-based information about ice (crystal methamphetamine) for the Australian community.

Medical Quick Access Clinics (QACs)

Quick Access Clinics, known as QACs, is a new general medicine service introduced by the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN).

The initiative aims to enhance services provided by both the Lyell McEwin and Modbury hospitals’ Outpatients Departments, and improve access for a distinct group of acute patients.

Primary Mental Health Care Services Referrals and Enquiries in Metro Adelaide

NEW Mental Health Enquiry Line!
Download the communique for more information..

Correspondence for Doctors from Department of Veterans’ Affairs - Mefloquine

Public Health Alert - Media Release: Another Measles Case 23 September 2016

SA Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in a 21 year old female from metropolitan Adelaide. This case is a healthcare contact of a previous case.


SA Health has been notified of two cases of measles: a 9 month old male and a 22 year old female both from metropolitan Adelaide. These cases are likely community contacts of a previous case who had travelled to south-east Asia.

Public Health Alert: Measles

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles in a 25 year old female from metropolitan Adelaide who had recently returned from south-east Asia. This case is not connected to the two cases of measles reported last week.

Media Release - Measles 9 September 2016

SA Health has been notified of two confirmed cases of measles: a 45 year old male in metropolitan Adelaide who had recently returned from Thailand, and a 21 year old female who had recently returned from Bali, Indonesia.

Zika virus and people intending to travel to Rio for the Olympics

 Information rolled out by the Australian Government regarding the Zika virus and people intending to travel to Rio for the Olympics. 

Expanded Outpatient Services for CALHN

CALHN have expanded outpatient services in reproductive endocrinology and infertility  across  both  the  Royal  Adelaide  Hospital  and  The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  The service aims to assist clinical decision making and support optimal patient care for women with reproductive endocrine conditions and infertility in the public sector.  Further information including referral process can be found here.

APHN Connect June 2016 - Newsletter

Download the latest newsletter from the Adelaide PHN here

Public Health Alert - Chlorofluor gel contamination

SA Health has become aware that a batch (BK 119, expiry 11/2017) of Chlorofluor Gel® (Professional Dental Supplies) is contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia.
B. cepacia infections were noted in two patients in the same ward at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a subsequent investigation seeking the source of infections has identified contamination of Chlorofluor Gel® with B. cepacia.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is aware of the issue. A consumer level recall of the product is underway. For further information see

Improving Adelaides Primary Mental Health Services - Major Providers

As part of the Adelaide PHNs mission to improve mental health outcomes across the metropolitan area, Adelaide PHN has selected the organisations who will provide general mental health therapy services.

Public Health Alert - Measles

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles in a 4 year old male in metropolitan Adelaide. View the Health Alert for more information.

Adelaide PHN Begins Operations

Adelaide PHN has started its work today – work that will have a major, positive impact on the health services accessed by 1.2 million people across metropolitan Adelaide, from Sellicks Hill to Angle Vale.