Video: Bowel cancer – Anton Enus

Anton Enus and His Battle With Bowel Cancer

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

It’s funny how people have no qualms about spreading horse, cow, or sheep poop all over their vegetable gardens, yet talking about human poop gets an instant ‘yukky’ response. Except for SBS News anchor, Anton Enus, who now loves to talk about nothing else since he did the home bowel cancer test which saved his life. 

When Anton, a non meat-eater, seldom drinker, and non-smoker was just 55 (in 2016), he did the bowel screening test that comes in the mail every two years for everyone over the age of 50.

He felt obliged to do it, since he had run the City2Surf as an ambassador for Sure Cancer this year to raise funds and awareness, and was a supporter of Bowel Cancer Australia. So when the kit landed in his letterbox, he did the test and posted a miniscule sample of poop.

That tiny scrap of poop showed worrying signs, so the next step was a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist found a huge cancerous tumour. This discovery meant Anton had to go into battle for his life. 

A colonoscopy is still the most accurate way of detecting polyps in the bowel and it’s the only means of removing them. A significant number of untreated polyps will develop over time into bowel cancers.

At Direct Endoscopy, our staff can supply details about what you can do to avoid bowel cancer and how to book in for a colonoscopy.

The Long Road To Getting ‘Better’ After Bowel Cancer

A diagnosis of bowel cancer is enough to scare the pants off anyone, and Anton was no exception. But instead of going home after the shock, he went back to work, and did a live broadcast as usual.

He told Yahoo Lifestyle that the reality of being told you have bowel cancer that could kill you doesn’t sink in right away. After reading the news bulletin, his producer told Anton to go home until he was ‘better’ which would turn out to be a matter of years, not days.

It meant his digestive tract would be missing a whole section, and multiple treatments would be endured before Anton was anything ‘better’.

Bowel polyps, which rarely produce symptoms, are commonly discovered during a colonoscopy, so the sooner you have one, the more chance you have of a life saving early bowel cancer diagnosis.

Most polyps can be removed safely from the bowel during a colonoscopy and their removal will help prevent them from becoming cancerous.

Call Direct Endoscopy today to book in for your colonoscopy!

A Slow Realisation About Death

Anton didn’t realise just how close he was to death, or how serious and difficult the next two years were going to be. When his doctor talked to him about what could be done, suggesting major bowel surgery, Anton thought that was a bit extreme.

So what were his other options? His doctor was blunt, yes, there was another option: death. Anton says that hit home a tsunami. As he walked the doctor’s rooms and into the hospital corridor he burst into tears. His partner was with him so he was grateful to have had a shoulder to cry on.

“It was completely overwhelming,” he told Yahoo. And so began the trauma of Anton’s two-year bowel cancer treatment. But he finally got the all clear to return to work, still deeply grateful for that little bowel cancer testing kit that saved his life.

Sadly, while Anton won his battle, bowel cancer had not left his life.

Anton’s Sister Lost Her Bowel Cancer Battle

Anton’s older sister didn’t use the home bowel cancer testing kit and so her cancer wasn’t detected early enough to save her. Her symptoms had already begun to show when she was diagnosed. Her cancer was very similar to Anton’s, but she died two months after diagnosis.

This further tragedy, so close to Anton’s own brush with death, brought home a brutal truth – far too many people (over half of people eligible) ignore the free home bowel cancer screening test that could save their lives! Only 40 per cent of people who get the test kit in the mail do it and send it back.

This means a staggering 60 per cent of people are missing out on early detection.

The sad part is that 90 per cent of people with bowel cancer can be effectively treated if their cancer is found early. Anton believes it’s irrational that people don’t do the test and that they should just get over the ‘yucky’ response.

The test takes five minutes. All you do it squizzle a little stick into some poop and pop it into a bottle in the kit and send it back. You don’t even need a stamp on it. It’s totally free, and could be the difference between life and death.

It’s a no-brainer.

If your doctor has recommended a colonoscopy, or you have bowel cancer symptoms or other bowel conditions, follow these easy steps:

Step 1:Print Referral Form & take it to your Doctor 

Step 2: Call us on 9781 5959 to make an appointment 

Step 3:Click here to Read the Appointments Page


‘Very dark days’: Anton Enus returns to SBS after cancer battle

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

Mum Angela Dickenson, 36, was found guilty in June of defrauding the taxpayer-funded welfare agency for more than three years.

She made several false statements to Centrelink about her income, despite working different jobs during the period of offence, including a role working on an offshore oil rig in Western Australia.

© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Angela Dickenson has been found guilty of defrauding Centrelink of more than $60,000. Angela tried to avoid A Current Affair's cameras, claiming she did not take the money.

© Wolter Peeters Despite having no symptoms, Anton Enus was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

Daunted by the prospect of major surgery, Anton Enus asked his oncologist if there was an alternative.

“Yes,” the oncologist replied. “You will die.”

Enus lifts the corner of his shirt, revealing a flesh-coloured pouch. “Once you decide you want to live, there’s a price to pay,” says the SBS newsreader. “As you can see, I ended up with a colostomy bag.”

This week, the 57-year-old returns to work – hosting the Friday and Saturday editions of SBS World News – after a near two-year absence. “I had some very dark days,” he says. “But, without glossing over anything, I took the decision not to put all that on social media.”

'I believe I will win': Olivia Newton-John, 69, reveals the tragic cancer diagnosis she kept secret… as she fights the disease for a third time with the help of her husband

Olivia Newton-John secretly battled a second b breast cancer back in 2013. The 69-year-old superstar- who is currently fighting the disease for the third time- made the emotional revelation in an interview with Channel Seven's Sunday Night.

Explaining why she chose not to go public with the diagnosis at the time, she told the program: 'I thought 'It's my life' and I just decided to keep it to myself'.

In early 2013, Olivia was involved in a minor car accident, and a lump appeared in her right shoulder.

In 2016, Enus received a free bowel cancer screening kit in the mail. (By 2020, all Australians between 50 and 74 will receive this kit every two years, as part of a federal government program.) Though he had no noticeable symptoms, he collected a small stool sample and sent it back – not least because he'd been an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia since 2014.

The result showed traces of blood in his faeces: a symptom with dozens of possible causes, including the use of aspirin. Enus wasn’t worried. As a non-smoking vegetarian who runs marathons and practises yoga, he’d done everything he could to stay healthy. Nevertheless, a colonoscopy was ordered.

“We found a large tumour,” the specialist said. Still groggy from the sedation, Enus thought he was dreaming.

Accused killer faces Perth court, bodies undiscovered for six days

Police are alleging Mr Harvey killed Mara Lee Harvey at the couple's Bedford property on September 3. © Supplied. One of the Bedford family victims, Mara Harvey, with Anthony Harvey in 2016.

It is further alleged he also murdered the three children Charlotte, Alice and Beatrix on the same date at the same place.Mr Harvey is then alleged to have murdered Beverly Ann Quinn at the Bedford home on September 4.

Mr Harvey spoke only to confirm his name at the beginning of the court hearing and to confirm he understood all five charges.

© SBS Enus in 2000, one year after he joined SBS. We’re in the sunny living room of the inner-Sydney apartment he shares with patent lawyer Roger Henning, his partner of 30 years. Purpose-built shelves accommodate thousands of books, which Henning has arranged alphabetically and by category. Though Enus ribs him about “the Dewey Decimal System”, he’s grateful for his meticulousness.

During appointments with specialists, Henning asked questions and documented their advice in his notebook. “There were some days where it was all too much,” Enus says. “I was feeling droopy and I couldn't concentrate. Having someone there with a clear head was invaluable.”

His tumour, doctors believe, had grown over several years. After the initial diagnosis, it metastasised and spread to one of his lungs. This left Enus simultaneously fighting the two types of cancer that cause more deaths than all others. The treatment was brutal: chemotherapy and radiation, complicated surgery, then more chemotherapy and radiation.

'She's in trouble' – Bruce McAvaney's heart-stopping reaction to Winx's record-breaking win

a kid in the candy store, you couldn't wipe the smile off his face.In another signature come-from-behind run, jockey Hugh Bowman left fans on their heels with a later than usual charge on the straight at Royal Randwick.

“I felt quite frustrated,” he says with characteristic understatement. In fact, there were moments of sheer despair. After one consultation, he put his head on Henning's shoulder and broke down; his jagged sobs echoing across the hospital reception.

During this time, debate over marriage equality raged in the lead-up to the postal survey. This yielded a surreal contrast: in public, certain opponents claimed gay relationships are inherently unstable. In private, Henning unwaveringly supported his partner through the toughest time of his life.

He knew, instinctively, when to let Enus vent – or proffer a cheerful distraction. Whether to invite friends over or give him space. In those moments Enus was too wired to sleep, yet too exhausted to read, he simply sat with him. “I think we would have married decades ago if that option had been available to us,” Enus says.

“Now that it’s legal, it’s something I’d to do.”

In February, doctors told him he had no discernible cancer in his body: “the definition of happiness”, as he described it at the time. His mother – who is not especially religious or demonstrative – cried “God is great!” over the phone. “And my oncologist,” Enus added.

'Mary Poppins Returns' Trailer Teases Emily Blunt's First New Song

Film fans have been treated to their first burst of Emily Blunt singing in character as Mary Poppins, in a new trailer for the upcoming Disney sequel. The ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ trailer debuted on US TV on Monday morning, during ‘Good Morning America’, introducing us to a now grown-up Jane and Michael Banks.

Reserved by nature, he has done few media interviews since migrating from South Africa in 1999. His frustration at the ignorance surrounding bowel cancer, however, prompted him to speak out. “I wouldn’t have picked it as the second-biggest cancer killer in Australia,” he says. “I think most people would be surprised by that.”

Privately, researchers attribute this to an “ick factor”; the squeamishness people feel about collecting their own stool samples or detailing their bowel movements to a doctor.

Major companies have not fallen over themselves to raise funds or awareness for the disease, and high-profile survivors are curiously hard to find.

“There’s no McGrath [breast cancer] Foundation for bowel cancer,” Enus says.

He suspects middle-aged people – beset by a growing list of aches, pains and other health issues – are reluctant to go looking for fresh problems. Indeed, only four in 10 eligible Australians participate in the free screening program.

“Trust me,” he insists. “It’s much better to know than not know. This information could literally save your life.”

The journalist travelled courtesy of SBS.

Bowel cancer: The facts

  • Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world, with more than 15,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
  • It causes more deaths than all other cancers except lung cancer.
  • Australians should be screened every two years from the age of 50. Those with a family history of bowel cancer should consider screening from 45.
  • The need for a colostomy bag depends on the location of the cancer and when it's detected. Fewer than one-quarter of patients will require its use.
  • 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated if found early – but fewer than 50 per cent are.Source:

Belgian adventurer Louis-Philippe Loncke completes historic Tasmanian traverse, but returns worse for wear .

An adventurer dubbed the “Mad Belgian” emerges from the Tasmanian wilderness after 52 days completing a historic winter crossing of the state.But, he's got a new record under his belt.


Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page: It works

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

This is the default welcome page used to test the correct operation of the Apache2 server after installation on Ubuntu systems. It is the equivalent page on Debian, from which the Ubuntu Apache packaging is derived.

If you can read this page, it means that the Apache HTTP server installed at this site is working properly. You should replace this file (located at /var/www/html/index.

html) before continuing to operate your HTTP server.

If you are a normal user of this web site and don't know what this page is about, this probably means that the site is currently unavailable due to maintenance. If the problem persists, please contact the site's administrator.

Ubuntu's Apache2 default configuration is different from the upstream default configuration, and split into several files optimized for interaction with Ubuntu tools.

The configuration system is fully documented in /usr/share/doc/apache2/README.Debian.gz. Refer to this for the full documentation.

Documentation for the web server itself can be found by accessing the manual if the apache2-doc package was installed on this server.

The configuration layout for an Apache2 web server installation on Ubuntu systems is as follows:

/etc/apache2/|– apache2.conf| `– ports.conf|– mods-enabled| |– *.load| `– *.conf|– conf-enabled| `– *.conf|– sites-enabled| `– *.conf

  • apache2.conf is the main configuration file. It puts the pieces together by including all remaining configuration files when starting up the web server.
  • ports.conf is always included from the main configuration file. It is used to determine the listening ports for incoming connections, and this file can be customized anytime.
  • Configuration files in the mods-enabled/, conf-enabled/ and sites-enabled/ directories contain particular configuration snippets which manage modules, global configuration fragments, or virtual host configurations, respectively.
  • They are activated by symlinking available configuration files from their respective *-available/ counterparts. These should be managed by using our helpers a2enmod, a2dismod, a2ensite, a2dissite, and a2enconf, a2disconf . See their respective man pages for detailed information.
  • The binary is called apache2. Due to the use of environment variables, in the default configuration, apache2 needs to be started/stopped with /etc/init.d/apache2 or apache2ctl. Calling /usr/bin/apache2 directly will not work with the default configuration.

By default, Ubuntu does not allow access through the web browser to any file apart of those located in /var/www, public_html directories (when enabled) and /usr/share (for web applications). If your site is using a web document root located elsewhere (such as in /srv) you may need to whitelist your document root directory in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf.

The default Ubuntu document root is /var/www/html. You can make your own virtual hosts under /var/www. This is different to previous releases which provides better security the box.

Please use the ubuntu-bug tool to report bugs in the Apache2 package with Ubuntu. However, check existing bug reports before reporting a new bug.

Please report bugs specific to modules (such as PHP and others) to respective packages, not to the web server itself.


Thanks Queen Lee Lin Chin For Glorious 30-Year Reign At SBS

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

Earlier today it was announced that our eternally revered Queen Lee Lin Chin had quit SBS, with one final appearance behind the desk at World News this Sunday.

To say the very least, Australia is shattered.

Chin’s 30+ year with the broadcaster made her one of the most recognisable and undoubtedly stylish newsreaders in the industry. Over the past few years, Chin has been involved in iconic sketches with SBS Viceland’s The Feed. 

Who could ever forget the Jakarta-born journalist reading her own Mean Tweets to just about everyone.

Then in 2016, Chin was nominated for SBS’ first-ever Gold Logie.

The human icon announced her leave to Sandra Sully in an exclusive interview with TenDaily (read into that if you wish):

There’s not one big reason, there’s many small to medium-sized reasons, which for the time being I wish to keep to myself but may talk about one day.  One reason I shall reveal however is that working two days a week didn’t give me enough time to devote to the pub and re-reading the complete works of Shakespeare. So now that I work zero days that issue has been addressed.

Absolutely legendary.

Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in on with many Asian-Australians thanking Chin for being one of the very few and constant faces of Asian representation, one that didn’t anglicise her name:

I joke, but Lee Lin Chin has been an inspiration. Unflappable, professional and talented she broke the mould of what you needed to look, act and sound to be on Australian TV. For most of her more than 30 years at SBS she's been the only regular Asian face on our screens.

— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) July 26, 2018


— Michelle Law ???? (@ms_michellelaw) July 26, 2018

Lee Lin Chin was a representation I didn’t know I needed: a strong, successful, unconventional Asian woman that stood on her own. Who else is there to take her throne?

— Ria (@toyomansi) July 26, 2018

@LeeLinChinSBS I don't even know where to begin honouring you. My entire life, the words “Hello I'm Lee Lin Chin” meant it was time to strap in for some truth, integrity, and candor. I've watched your bulletins from all over the world. You inspired me to be a reporter. Thank you.

— Hannah Gee (@HannahGeeWriter) July 26, 2018

Thank you @LeeLinChinSBS for inspiring a little Rashell into journalism. And thank you @Sandra_Sully for this brilliant piece. | @tendailyau

— Rashell Habib (@RashellHa) July 26, 2018

LEE LIN! End of an era. Thank you @LeeLinChinSBS for being an incredible force, a brilliant journalist, a style icon. What a woman to grow up with, watching on screen.

Also, exclusively reported by @channelten? I wonder what's next for Lee Lin Chin…

— Zan Rowe (@zanrowe) July 26, 2018

Lee Lin Chin the supreme ruler of the Australian media landscape has quit SBS, she echoes the manic nature of today by hitting Australians in the heart. Nothing but respect and admiration to the strong powerhouse that has been a presence on my screens for my entire life ????

— Jesse Earle (@jessejearle) July 26, 2018

Others were just gutted: 


— BW (@eatmeetswest) July 26, 2018

this is the worst day in australian media ever

— Georgia Kriz ????️‍???? (@georgiakriz) July 26, 2018

I’m crying on the couch with a glass of wine after hearing that Lee Lin Chin is retiring how is your Thursday going

— 다니엘 ????️‍???????? (@hecatastrophic) July 26, 2018

Lee Lin Chin has resigned and i have no reason to watch tv anymore

— TSKYLAR (@qhvstly) July 26, 2018

Oh god, Lee Lin Chin is leaving SBS! We made a terrible, terrible mistake opening that black sarcophagus.

— Whiskey Houston (@RobCoco) July 26, 2018

SBS also put together just a fraction of Chin’s most iconic looks and a montage of her work behind the World News desk:

Has there ever been a newsreader with such style? @LeeLinChinSBS

— SBS Australia (@SBS) July 26, 2018

Farewell @LeeLinChinSBS. We'll miss you!

— SBS News (@SBSNews) July 26, 2018

There’s even a goddamn page dedicated to every single one of Lee Lin Chin’s Asymmetrical Outfits. 

To this. We don't know anymore. #chinsanity

Posted by Lee Lin Chin's Asymmetrical Outfits on Tuesday, 12 August 2014

But, in some good news Chin is not retiring – just quitting.

In her words: “Retirement is death and I don’t plan to die anytime soon.”

Once again because I need to stress this for myself:

I have not retired, simply resigned. Retirement is death.

— Lee Lin Chin (@LeeLinChinSBS) July 26, 2018

You can read TenDaily’s full interview with Chin, HERE.

Anton Enus will return to SBS World News after beating bowel cancer.


Fairfax: Today is a good day to crush Australia's spirit.

Lee Lin Chin: Hold my beer.

— Revolt-ing (@the_very_least) July 26, 2018

READ MOREEternal Empress Lee Lin Chin Has Apparently Quit The SBS Image: / Lee Lin Chin


Video: Bowel cancer

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

I became involved quite by chance actually. I was diagnosed in December 2016, the blue. There was no warning, no preconditions, no symptoms, it just came the blue. I was part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, and that came back with a positive result. Very sort of minute positive result, with a letter saying, “Please see your GP.”

Sort of being a typical male of 55, I resisted that idea until I was nagged into seeing the GP about it. And that just one thing led to another, is a colonoscopy, the colonoscopy came back positive and that led to an interview with a surgeon, and that led to the radiation, the chemo, the surgery. The whole thing just got going from there.

I’m a pretty healthy person I reckon. I ticked all the boxes for lifestyle; exercise regularly, I’ve run marathons, I play tennis, I do yoga, I swim. I haven’t eaten red meat.

I haven’t eaten meat of any kind in fact for over three decades. Nonsmoker, very light drinker, no family history.

So it was quite a surprise actually when I was told that the test had come back positive, it was the last thing I was expecting to hear.

Well, I was part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening programme. When you turn 50, you get these parcels in the mail that said, “Please do the sample test, send it back.” Lots of people don’t.

I think my main role is to tell people to do that test because it could save your life. What happened was that I studiously sent back the tests.

When I turned 55, there was a minute amount of blood in the stool, which triggered a letter which said, “Please discuss this with your GP.” And that started the process.

I’d love to say I did it straight away, but in fact sort of being a middle aged male, I resisted the idea of discussing it. It’s a pretty awkward discussion to have. I understand people don’t want to do that.

I did eventually speak to the GP, and even then the discussion we had was, well it could be one of a number of things, but let’s just have the colonoscopy to rule out some things.

Just as well, I did that because I think it saved my life.

It was a bit surreal actually. You have this kind of twilight sedation that they do the colonoscopy under and when I was coming it, just sort of in that slightly woozy state, I was told that, yes, they were polyps and they were removed on the spot, but there was also a tumour that was estimated to be seven to eight years old. So it was quite well developed.

My first reaction was, I didn’t really believe that. I thought maybe I’m dreaming this, maybe I didn’t hear properly, I’m a bit sort of under anaesthesia and I wasn’t quite understanding what the ENT guy was saying, and then it took a while to sink in.

But I think the really good thing is that you just get catapulted onto the next thing immediately. There’s no waiting period or cooling off period. They just make an appointment for you, so you’ve got something to do immediately. You don’t have to sit around and fret.

I went through Prince of Wales Hospital, and they certainly have a liaison nurse who kind of draws in all the specialists that are part of this process, and it’s a big team. It’s a multidisciplinary team that deals with bowel cancer. Initially I thought, why do I need a liaison nurse? But in fact, my experience was that it was absolutely invaluable.

Just knowing that there’s somebody you can call to say, “What do I do now? I’ve run medication, I can’t see the doctor on this date. I’ve got these symptoms that were not described to me.

” There are all kinds of things that you haven’t thought about that sometimes you just need someone to talk to who can give you some support, give you some practical advice and show which direction to go to.

From day one, from the very first consultation at the hospital, I was introduced to Joyce, who is my liaison nurse, and she gave me her mobile phone number immediately. I can tell you, you have good days and you have bad days.

It’s so good to have that number available. I can just call someone who I know is on the inside of this process, who knows exactly what the patients are going through, how to deal with people, how to sort of calm me down and so on.

It was an invaluable experience.

I’m all clear at the moment. Yeah, you can never say never. This cancer is a kind of one of those unpredictable things.

But from the diagnosis, which was in December 2016, to about February of 2018, that’s how long the process lasted. But that included two rounds of radiation, two rounds of chemo, plus quite invasive surgery.

So there’s quite a lot going on. But at the moment, according to the latest scans, I’m clear.

There’s no question in my mind that the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, if it didn’t save my life, it came very close to doing that, because it allowed an early enough diagnosis so that we could actually do something and get a positive outcome. So I really think I’m one of the lucky ones.

I took part in the screening process, it’s completely free of course. It’s just a case of getting people to do the test. It’s a simple test. It takes five minutes. It’s not going to… It’s no more invasive than changing a baby’s nappy. I try to think of it in those terms.

There is the kind what they call the yuck factor. People don’t to get involved with, or talking about things that are awkward. This thing is something that could save your life. So I reckon, do something about it. Arm yourself with information. Do the test, speak to your GP. Do something because it could save your life.

I decided to go public with my experience and maybe raise a bit of awareness. The response I’ve had has been quite phenomenal. Strangers stopped me in the street, in cafes, on sports fields just to say, “Thank you for doing that, and I did the test.” I’m very gratified by that.

That’s the main reason I do this ambassadorial work, is to get people to do the test. It’s such a small test and such a little thing to do that could lead to fantastic outcomes because the earlier we get the diagnosis, and we know it’s a big cancer threat for Australia, the earlier we get the diagnosis, the best chance people have of getting a positive outcome.

The biggest unpredictable cancer, because lung cancer is the number one killer. But it’s quite predictable because it’s linked to smoking. It’s very clear causative link.

With bowel cancer, they can’t say why some polyps become cancerous and some don’t. It’s not clear.

I mean, certainly in my case, with my history, it seems I should have been in the ticked all the boxes to be safe, but in fact, it was luck of the draw that it turned out the way it did.

It’s very treatable. I think, yes, especially with the healthcare that we have in Australia. I think our surgical teams, our chemotherapy team, the radiation teams, they are world-class.

I think, if you’re going to have bowel cancer anywhere in the world, this is a good place to have it.

But the one bit of cooperation we do need is for people to do the test and arm themselves with that information.

Last Reviewed: 30/03/2020



Murray PHN eNews #69 | Improving the health of our local communities

Video: Bowel cancer - Anton Enus

Catchment Councils first  meeting
Last week, Murray PHN hosted the inaugural meeting of our Catchment Clinical and Community Council, which is made up of the Chairs and  their delegates of each of the  eight regional Clinical and Community Advisory Councils, plus members of the Murray PHN board and executive.

At the  meeting, the  Catchment Clinical and Community Council were provided  opportunity to present  on their views and  respective council work plans. The Catchment Council produced the following key messages to the  Murray PHN Board:

  • we commend the investment in the Advisory Council structure and the intention and efforts to establish an Aboriginal and  Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council

And we look forward to:

  • consolidating our regional work plans and council processes
  • improving communications between meetings
  • exploring ways for joint regional clinical and community council meetings
  • being  active and adding maximum value to Murray PHN and community outcomes.

Murray PHN's regional Advisory Councils underpin the organisation's commitment to community engagement and regional context in health service delivery.

Pictured: L to R top row: Brett McKinnon,  Clare Fountain,  Michael Leonhard, Fabian Reid,  Greg Gladman,  Toni Riley, Matt Jones and Dr Chris Atkins.L to R bottom row: Dr Ewa Piejko, Sharon Smith, Dr John Buckley,  Emma Ghys, Ruth Mulligan  and Anne Somerville.

Those members who were present via tele-conference:  Dr Robert Campbell and  Joanne Kinder.Apologies: Dr  Jan Sheringham,  Ric Raftis,  Allison McTaggart, Dr Lawrence Tay and  Kate Wright.

And we also welcome a new member David McCourt to the North East region.

Closing the Indigenous health Gap
Improved Indigenous health outcomes are one of the key health priorities of PHNs.

Earlier this month,  we joined Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Albury Wodonga Health, Gateway Health, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Wodonga Council at a Closing the Gap event in Wodonga.

On the same day, our Indigenous Health Outcomes Coordinator Anna attended the Indigenous Eye Health Conference in Melbourne. During the conference Anna was encouraged to hear how the success of planning and implementing Indigenous programs increases when  local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved.

Pictured: Local MP Cathy McGowan concluding  the Close the Gap day event by cutting the cake – photo  courtesy of The Border Mail.

Local health professionals awarded
Seventeen health professionals and one practice were recently recognised for their outstanding commitment and dedication to their Victorian communities. We congratulate all recipients of the 2017 Victorian Rural Health Awards  particularly  those currently  working within our catchment:

  • Length of service award 35+ years:  Dr Michael Spillane  Bendigo, Dr Campbell Hunt Echuca, Dr Brian Murphy Mildura and Dr Mark Zagorski Mount Beauty.
  • Rural doctor award:  Dr Maria Rachinskaya and Dr Oleg Rachinsky  Donald.
  • GP locum award:  Associate Professor Ralph Audehm Tallangatta to Ouyen.
  • Medical specialist award:  Dr Arup Bhattacharya Shepparton.
The prevalence of suicide in the Australian population is not diminishing.  During 2014-15 our region had 652 hospitalisations for international self-harm.
Research results suggest that thinking of suicide prevention as a wholly medical problem is not effective. Optimising mental health care and service delivery is only part of the solution. Other important factors known to reduce suicide in communities include improving mental health knowledge and literacy across the community and the early learning of skills and strategies to improve resilience.
Black Dog Institute are hosting a webinar on 5 April for GPs and GP registrars who are interested in achieving better outcomes for their patients with mild to moderate mental health problems.
(Media professionals can access Mindframe: who aim to provide advice on structure and responsible reporting and portrayal  of suicide  and mental illness).

Pap test rebate changes as new screening tests delayed
 cancer screening  
Changes to the cervical screening program planned for May, have been delayed until December 2017.

It is important that women due for cervical screening continue to be tested using a cytology-based pap test.

In order to maintain reasonable turnaround times during this period of delay, the following changes to pap test rebates have been announced by the Australian Government. The schedule of screening options:

  • From now until April 30 Medicare rebate for pap smear only. No rebate for ThinPrep ® liquid-based cytology (LBC).
  • May 1 until November 30 Medicare rebate for either  pap smear or  ThinPrep ® (LBC).
  • From December 1 Medicare rebate for HPV test. ThinPrep ® (LBC) will attract a rebate only in special circumstances. No rebate for pap smear.

Cancer Council Victoria has launched a new campaign to encourage Vietnamese Australians to get tested for hepatitis B. Many Vietnamese Australians are unaware that they may have hepatitis B and are at risk of developing liver damage or liver cancer.  Hepatitis B often shows no symptoms, but if it is not treated it can lead to serious health problems. A free blood test will identify if anyone has the virus.
The Cancer Council Victoria has interpreter resources  available in Vietnamese.  Click here  for more details.
If you work with CALD patients the Department of Social Services has a free interpreting service, delivered by TIS National: find out if you are eligible for the service and/or  register here.

Bowel cancer screening now more widely available    cancer screening  

Bowel cancer screening participation rates in our catchment are only 43% (2014-15) which is alarming given that an average of 100 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year in our catchment.

New  ages (54, 58 and 68) have been added to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in a hope  to increase screening rates and save lives.

At the same time Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging GPs to  support patients to complete the test which is simple, easy and painless.
SBS World News Presenter Anton Enus  recently shared his experience of being diagnosed with bowel cancer in his 50s.

Anton encourages those who are seemingly  fit and healthy as he was, to speak with their GP, even if it feels awkward “just do it. It could save your life. I reckon it saved mine”.

Giving  people with disability more choice and  support    mental health  

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing disability support to Australians living with disability, and their families and carers. The NDIS gives people with disability more choice and ensures they get the support they need.
Recently  The First Peoples Disability Network welcomed the NDIS for Indigenous peoples and created a 10-point plan for the implementation of the NDIS in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.The NDIS is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency and will start rolling out across the Loddon region (Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander) from 1 May 2017 and the Ovens Murray region (Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga) from 1 October 2017.

Yooralla have put together some information, including what the NDIS does and doesn't pay for  click here to read  and click here to read  what  the difference is between the NDIA and NDIS.