Specialist Diabetes Care For Murrumbidgee Region

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


The Murrumbidgee region will receive improved access to specialised Diabetes care.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN), in collaboration with St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney and Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) has announced a new initiative to help improve access to specialist diabetes care in the region.

The St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney’s Diabetes Regional Education, Access and Management (DREAM) Initiative has been co-designed with local healthcare providers to help bridge the gap in specialist diabetes care for rural and regional communities.

MPHN Acting CEO Narelle Mills said diabetes care was particularly critical in the Murrumbidgee.

“Compared with all NSW Primary Health Networks, our region has the highest prevalence of diabetes, affecting more than 10 per cent of her total adult population,” Ms Mills said. “Offering patients access to local specialist services, which complement and work with our existing specialists and primary care providers, is pivotal to enhancing health outcomes.

“This initiative also affords our region’s general practitioners and practice nurses the chance to glean insights from some of Australia’s leading diabetes specialists.”

The DREAM Initiative held an outreach clinic at Gundagai Medical Centre in mid-March 2024 and brought local patients together with the St Vincent’s Diabetes Service.

Local GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals attended a professional development session at the Gundagai RSL, which showcased the latest advancements in diabetes care and provided a platform for discussing complex cases through collaborative case studies.

Head of the Department of Endocrinology and Director of Diabetes Services at St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney and founder of the DREAM initiative said the medical centre staff involved in the project had been excellent to collaborate with.

“Their dedication to improving diabetes care in Gundagai is truly commendable,” Professor Greenfield said.

“It has been very rewarding to work with local healthcare professionals to ensure the rural and regional diabetes population have access to the best possible and equitable care and experience.”

The DREAM Initiative held its first outreach clinics earlier in the year in Tumut at Fitzroy Medical Centre and Tumut Family Medical Centre.

St Vincent’s Diabetes Clinical Nurse Consultant Gael Holters, who leads the project, said she was enjoying spending time in the Murrumbidgee.

“Being in the Murrumbidgee is helping us better understand the unique challenges and needs of rural communities in managing diabetes,” Ms Holters said.

“Through this initiative, we’ll be able to tailor our approach to best fit the circumstances here, ensuring we’re not just implementing standard protocols, but crafting solutions that reflect the realities of rural life.

“We’re grateful for the support of Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network in facilitating the involvement of local practices.

“Their collaboration has been invaluable in extending our reach and impact.

“We are excited to collaborate with practices in the Murrumbidgee who may be interested in joining our initiative.”

General practices who would like to get involved are encouraged to contact MPHN Senior Manager Primary Care Engagement Andrew Heap at andrew.heap@mphn.org.au.

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