SNHN News – Mar ’16

SNHN News – Mar ’16

Needs Assessment – In Progress & Mental Health/AOD Survey

On 29th February Ernst & Young presented the Baseline Needs Assessment to the 24 combined members of Sydney North Health Network’s clinical and community councils and the SNHN Board.

The focussed areas of analysis covered:

  • Mental Health
  • Urgent Care
  • Health of the Elderly

The purpose of this presentation to the joint councils was to deliver preliminary findings, suggest content for inclusion in the final needs assessment, encourage discussion and advise of any data interpretation.

The Sydney North Health Network’s population health team continues to identify a variety of data sources and engage with stakeholders to complete the findings of Sydney north’s needs assessment which is due for submission on 30th March 2016.

The outcome of this needs assessment will inform the next health commissioning stage to meet local primary healthcare needs.

In addition, SNHN is undertaking a needs assessment process around mental health and alcohol and other drugs which will inform future commissioning services in these areas.

Sydney North Health Network supports lifesaving hepatitis C drugs now on the PBS

Eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat in Australia within the next 10 to 15 years is now a real possibility with four new treatments listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 March 2016.

With what is set to be an increased demand from patients for the new hepatitis C drugs, it is pivotal that the Northern Sydney PHN (operated by the Sydney North Health Network) supports their local GPs with education and resourcing around the roll-out of these new treatments.

The new treatments – sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni), daclatasvir (Daklinza) and ribavirin (Ibavyr) – can successfully cure hepatitis C in over 90 per cent of cases. Treatment can take as little as 8-12 weeks, without many of the serious side-effects associated with older, interferon based treatments. Currently only one per cent of people with hepatitis C are receiving treatment each year. As of 1 March, the drugs will be listed by the PBS, dramatically dropping the price to $38.30 for general patients and $6.20 for concessional patients.

Sydney North Health Network Chair, Dr Magdalen Campbell says, “Having these new treatments listed on the PBS revolutionises the way that GPs can now treat patients with hepatitis C. These previously expensive drugs are now accessible and give patients living with hepatitis C the opportunity to experience a better quality of life.”

Although GPs will now be able to prescribe hepatitis C treatments for their patients without having to refer them on to a specialist, they are still required to have a brief consultation with a specialist before writing a prescription.

Sydney North Health Network CEO Lynelle Hales said, “As a Primary Health Network it is our role to disseminate the correct information and resources. Through our clinical and community councils we will be engaging with both health professionals and people within the community who have hepatitis C to make access to this treatment easier.”

Find out more via the following resources:

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