July/August Newsletter

Congratulations Gayle

If you have met our Nurse Practitioner Gayle Rusher, you will know she has many strings to her bow…and now she has another string to add!

Gayle has recently completed her training through Diabetes Australia to become a Credentialled Diabetes Educator. A Diabetes Educator helps those with diabetes or at risk of diabetes:

  • understand and manage their disease, and
  • prevent complications associated with diabetes

To have a diabetes appointment with Gayle, you will need a referral from your GP or nurse. Those with diabetes at any stage of their condition can benefit, as well as people newly diagnosed or  at risk of diabetes. If you would like to make a diabetes appointment with Gayle, speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP or nurse.


Free Children’s Flu Vaccine

Early September is the peak flu season in Tassie. So, if your child hasn’t their FREE flu shot yet, now’s your chance. Children aged 6 months to 5 years receive a free flu vaccine this year as funded by the State Government.

If this is the first time your child is receiving the flu vaccine, they will need to have 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. Every year after this they will only require one dose. The vaccine covers four strains of influenza virus; two A strains and two B strains. Getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best protection we have against flu.

If you would like your child to receive a free flu vaccine, please speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP or nurse.


Changes to the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

As of 1st of July, the National Immunisation Program schedule (the immunisations given to children) is changing. There are 2 main changes:

  • The vaccine for Pneumococcal disease (Prevenar 13) schedule is changing to 2, 4 and 12 months of age (instead of 2, 4 and 6 months). This is in response to evidence suggesting a dose at 12 months will further reduce pneumococcal disease. If your child is due for their 12 month immunisations after the 1st of July, a booster dose will be offered at 12 months. It is safe for your child to receive an extra dose.
  • The Meningococcal C & Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines are being replaced by the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (Nimenrix) at 12 months of age and Hib vaccine (ActHib) at 18 months of age. This is to broaden the protection of young children against the A, C, W & Y strains of meningococcal disease.

What does this mean for you and your child?

  • Better protection against infectious disease based on current research;
  • 3 injections will be given at 12 months and 18 months of age in the upper arms. It is recommended to give 2 injections in one arm and the 3rd injection in the other arm.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP or nurse. More information can be found at http://ncirs.edu.au/

In response to the recent meningococcal disease infections, the State Government is implementing a vaccine intervention program. All Tasmanians aged between 6 weeks and 21 years are eligible for a free meningococcal vaccine.

There is a large demand for the vaccines. Please monitor our website www.huonvalleyhealthcentre.com.au for vaccine availability and Meningococcal Vaccine Clinic information.



This month we would like to invite people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to have a Health Check under the Closing the Gap program. After the health check, you may be eligible for 10 allied health appointments that are funded by the Government.

Allied health providers include Aboriginal health workers, chiropractors, diabetes educators, dieticians, exercise physiologists, mental health workers, physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, osteopaths, social workers, and speech pathologists.

You will also be eligible for the Indigenous Health Incentive & Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme, which entitles you to free or discounted medications.

If you would like to make an appointment, please speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP or nurse.


This year you will get a My Health Record. Unless you opt out.

My Health Record is summary of your key health information that can be accessed online by you or anyone you consent to having access. My Health Record aims to bring together your health information such as medical conditions, medicines, allergies & test results in one place.

1 in 5 Australians already have a My Health Record.

You choose:

  • who sees your information and
  • what information is shared

My Health Record has various safeguards in place to protect your information, such as encryption, firewalls & secure login.

What do you have to do?

Nothing – unless you choose to opt out.

Your My Health Record will be created for you by the end of 2018. Then, a health summary needs to be uploaded – speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP or nurse about this.

The opt out period ends 15 October 2018 (we cannot do it for you – you need to go online or call 1800 723 471 to do this. If you need help, Huon Valley Health Centre staff can help you.


Did you know that Hepatitis C is treatable?

Image: Hepatitis NSW – hep.org.au

Treatments for hepatitis C have been available in the community now for almost 2 years. If you are concerned about hepatitis C, or would like to discuss treatments for an existing infection, please speak to your Huon Valley Health Centre GP. You can find more information on the Hepatitis Australia website, Tascahrd or hep.org.au .

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