Message from the Chair

Dr Simon Lockwood

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world at present. As you read this foreword, we are still managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is the threat of war in Ukraine, economic uncertainty, financial market turmoil and we also have upcoming State and Federal elections in the mix.

Some or all of this will have an impact on individuals and organisations, to a greater or lesser extent, and no doubt the way we go about our daily lives. We can't control these external factors. We can only control our responses to them. And we cannot alter the past.

Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!

At Country SA PHN we are striving to live each day as a new day. Learning to adapt to the changes in the way we live our lives and work to improve health outcomes for country South Australians. We continue to look forward but to learn from the past.

Our response to COVID-19 continues to dominate much of what we do and how we do it. However, we are starting to plan for a world where COVID-19 is endemic rather than pandemic. The Board is currently undertaking a strategic review of the way in which we operate to add more value to what we do.

The new Memorandum of Understanding between SA Health and South Australian rural doctors has been a great relief to the doctors of our regions. These doctors provide essential and invaluable primary health care services to local communities, as well as specialist services to country hospitals. This negotiation has taken a considerable length of time, but rural doctors now have something to work with. I am hopeful that this will allow rural doctors to re-engage with local hospitals and save rural general practice which has been in decline for many years.

General Practices and Pharmacies with Country SA PHN support continue to provide the essential service of vaccinating our populations against COVID-19.

Country SA PHN Digital Health team is busy supporting GPs in the single biggest upgrade of connections between all health care providers and Services Australia in March.

These system changes require health care providers to update to the latest version of their Clinical Information Systems to process claims and exchange health information by March 14.

Everything from MBS payments, AIR uploads, prescribing, dispensing and accessing My Health Record will be using new encryption and connection standards. Future use and access to pathology reports, specialist letters, discharge summaries, electronic referrals and Real Time Prescription Monitoring will also be dependent upon these new connections.

The Country SA PHN Digital Health team has been working with IT Providers to provide them with the most current information and support.

The team is supporting health care providers with:

  1. Accessing and updating certificates for claiming MBS
  2. Renewing Healthcare Identifier NASH certificates for exchanging health information
  3. Future proofing organisations by updating their details to be current and correct.

If you’re a health care provider requiring support in this process, please go to to book a during or after-hours remote session.

To find out more about the required update please refer to the ‘NASH Certificate’ article.

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