Seven new Optimal Care Cancer Pathways (OCPs) are available to Gippsland general practitioners through the HealthPathways Gippsland.
The pathways include information on screening, early detection, appropriate investigations and referrals, along with managing side effects and offering supportive care. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander OCP has been embedded across various pathways to assist Gippsland general practitioners in providing culturally safe care.
An estimated 144,713 Australians were diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Many of these patients present to a general practitioner for screening, or with symptoms of a suspected cancer. The OCPs aim to provide Gippsland general practitioners with the confidence to identify and support patients with suspected or established cancer in the community.
The pathways are part of broader work being undertaken by the Victorian PHNs to raise awareness and support adoption of the OCPs into primary care. This work is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and is one of the many initiatives arising from the 2016-2020 Victorian Cancer Plan which aims to save 10,000 lives by 2025.
Gippsland PHN, together with other Victorian PHNs, has started developing clinical and referral pathways for the remaining seven OCP HealthPathways, resulting in all 19 OCPs being available on HealthPathways. The final seven OCPs are scheduled for release in October 2020.
To view the OCP HealthPathways and access the platform, go to https://gippsland.healthpathways.org.au.