Medicinal cannabis medicines can be prescribed for patients as a result of federal legislative changes which came into effect in November 2016.
Many prescribers and health professionals know little about the clinical application of medicinal cannabis for a number of reasons, including the scarcity of contemporary research in this area. Following systematic reviews by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and work across several Australian Universities to assess the clinical evidence for the use, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has published guidance documents to educate and inform health professionals who are interested in medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for their patients. These cover five particular clinical areas; specifically multiple sclerosis, chronic non-cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer, epilepsy and palliative care. There is also an overarching summary document for both health professionals and patients providing information about side effects of medicinal cannabis treatment and general cautions.
SA Health continues to aid awareness and education for health professionals and consumers through the provision of up-to-date and balanced information. You can find out more about prescribing medicinal cannabis in South Australia, and links to other resources such as fact sheets here.
The Commonwealth Department of Health invited HCA and a broad group of consumer representatives to engage in the Medicinal Cannabis consumer consultation, held in Melbourne on Thursday 18 May 2017.
Information was provided on medicinal cannabis government policy, and recent regulatory developments.
The review of clinical evidence for efficacy of medical cannabis was presented and the development of draft clinical guidelines for clinicians for the use of medicinal cannabis was discussed. The regulatory systems for patient access and patient access schemes were also discussed. The consultation provided the opportunity to raise issues, and for concerned patient groups to ask questions.
Consumers led a discussion about what information they need now and how best this should be communicated in a timely fashion.
You can find more information on Medicinal Cannabis on the Office of Drug Control website here.
HCA is exploring the opportunity of having a similar forum.
SA Health is committed to ensuring South Australians have access to the optimal range of safe and effective treatments and services to promote the best health outcomes for patients and the community
SA Health recently undertook public and targeted consultation about patient access to medicinal cannabis in South Australia. This took into account the national legislative framework established by the Commonwealth to facilitate appropriate patient access to certain medicinal cannabis products for medical conditions where there is evidence to support its use.
Following the consultation a patient access pathway for medicinal cannabis has been developed which is aligned with the existing legislated requirements for Schedule 8 medicines (noting one medicinal cannabis derivative, cannabidiol, is a Schedule 4 product and can be prescribed as such). Under the pathway, patients in South Australia can be supplied medicinal cannabis products prescribed by their medical specialist and dispensed by a pharmacist.
A section 18A authority from the Drugs of Dependence Unit (DDU) is only required for treatment longer than 2 months, or before commencing treatment where the person is already prescribed a Schedule 8 drug (for a period exceeding 2 months) and for any person the medical practitioner reasonably believes to be dependent on drugs.
Detailed information about the SA Health patient access pathway, the approval process, product information, evidence base and FAQs is available on the SA Health website here.
The Parliamentary Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation is conducting an inquiry into Workplace Fatigue and Bullying in South Australian Hospitals and Health Services. HCA was invited to make a submission in contribution to the inquiry. Studies have shown that health services working effectively and using a person-centred care approach can lead to improved workforce attitudes and job satisfaction, decreased emotional stress, decreased workforce turnover, and absenteeism and improved overall workforce wellbeing.
Read our submission here
In 2019 HCA will work with consumers, partner agencies and other stakeholders to develop more focused training modules for consumers on topics such as:
One of the changes of not having a core funding base is that we will now be charging for our training, including consumer training. Fees will be kept as low as possible, and opportunities for subsidised training will be made available to consumers who do not have the capacity to pay.
Back to eNews here
An international team of researchers led by SAHMRI-based epidemiologist Dr Azmeraw Amare has opened the door to more rapid mapping of the genetic foundations of mental health disorders. The global collaboration, that included SAHMRI and the University of Adelaide, found eight never-before-identified gene variants related to increased risk of depressive disorder, and more importantly, strengthened the evidence for genetic links between major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Find out more here.
The South Australian Health Commission offers online resources aimed at helping maintain a mentally health workplace. One of the important roles of the Commission is to work with South Australian communities and leaders to strengthen mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Investing in mentally healthy workplaces is a win-win for employers, workers, the economy and the State. Find out more here.
Wednesday 6 March 2019
11.30am - 2:30 pm
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care invites consumers to attend a workshop to provide input on the draft Second Edition of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (the Charter). A consultation was undertaken in 2018 which sought feedback on how user-friendly and easy to understand the existing Charter is, and how it could be improved. This feedback has informed the draft Second Edition, which will be discussed in detail at the workshop. Feedback will also be sought on the types of resources participants would find helpful when using the Charter. Participants will be provided with introductory information and will be required to complete a short survey prior to the event. Lunch will be provided.
Find out more and register here.
Wednesday 27 March
11.00am - 3.00pm
Sonder, in partnership with the Adelaide Primary Health Network, is hosting the Closing the Gap Day at the Adelaide Showground. Admission is free for all ages. It aims to bring together people from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to share information and take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030. The event will also feature plenty of free activities for children, including a petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting and much more.
Find out more here.
Thursday 30 May 2019
The 2019 annual Choosing Wisely National Meeting will bring together policy makers, consumers and other health care stakeholders for an interactive discussion on the opportunities, challenges, and highlights of the Choosing Wisely initiative as it continues to grow. Early bird registration is open until Thursday 18 April.
Find out more and register here.
Wednesday 30 January 2019
10am – 12pm
HCA is hosting a focus group for the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC). The focus group aims to gain consumer feedback on their current website to ensure it is user-friendly.
You can find out more and register here.
Back to eNews here.
Thursday 21 February 2019
1.00pm – 4.00pm
As part of the Community Mental Health Re-design Project, a Community Mental Health Consumer and Carer workshop is being held for consumers and carers who are or have received care from CALHN mental health services.
The aim of the workshop is to identify:
Who are our consumers, carers and community?
What are our guiding principles?
Service description – what works well and what we could do better?
Future service – how would it work?
Find out more and Register here