Aboriginal health is a key part of the work of our Medicare Local as we aim to incorporate Aboriginal health improvement into all of our programs.
Closing the Gap
In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a $1.6 billion National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes to fund a broad package of initiatives addressing the target of closing the life expectancy gap within a generation.
Under the “Closing the Gap - Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care" Program, the Federal Government has funded NAML to work towards improving access to culturally sensitive/appropriate primary health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the North.
The program aims to contribute to closing the gap in life expectancy by improving access to culturally sensitive primary care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Additionally, the new Indigenous Health Incentive Practice Incentive Program (IHI PIP) and PBS Copayment Measure (free and cheaper medications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) has now also begun in general practice.
The NAMLs Closing the Gap employees are dedicated to supporting general practices in providing quality care for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. They can assist with:
- Sourcing appropriate resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
- Facilitating cultural awareness training (a requirement of the PIP)
- Navigating MBS claiming in the PIP
- Detailed information resources on the IHI PIP and PBS co-payment
- Cultural safety audits of your health service, assistance to deliver culturally sensitive and appropriate services
- Information on Indigenous health checks and follow up items
- Information on Aboriginal services in the north
NAML is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Closing the Gap - Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care Program.
More information for the public, GPs and health practitioners can be found on the resources page listed under Closing the Gap.
Chronic Disease Management - Care Coordination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
The aim of this program is to identify and contribute to improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with a Chronic Disease, and to reduce the amount of acute care/ED admissions.
The program assists any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with their Chronic Disease. Care coordinators work closely with the GP to develop a Care Plan to manage Chronic Disease, and assist the patient in accessing allied health, specialists services and support them with Chronic disease self management. Assistance is also offered for follow up care, medication management and any pharmacy issues as well as access transport and specialist services related to their health care needs.
Our Closing the Gap Aboriginal Outreach Workers are also available to assist with barriers to access transportation, advocacy and support for the patients to attend allied health appointments and assistance with pharmacy. We are looking for any referrals from your Health Service for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients that might fit the criteria for Care Coordination and support of an Aboriginal Outreach worker. We would be more than happy to receive referrals for these clients to help them manage their Chronic Disease and reach an optimal health outcome for them.
GUIDE TO CARE COORDINATION
1. The Patient Self Identifies as an Aboriginal Or Torres Strait Islander.
2. The Patient has a chronic disease or at risk of developing a chronic disease as deemed appropriate by their GP.
3. This person is then referred by their GP and referral form completed.
4. The care coordinator recieves the referral and organises a GP Care Plan and Team Care Arrangement (If one has not already been done)
5. The Care Coordinator contacts the patient and care coordination can begin.
6. The Care Coordinator arranges any transport required or Allied Health appointments. The Care Coordinator assists the patient to manage their chronic disease.