Aboriginal Health

We are working towards "Closing the Gap" in South Western Sydney.

Aboriginal Health is a key priority focus of the South Western Sydney PHN and our aim to close the gap between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australians life expectancy by improving access to culturally sensitive primary care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

" Whilst Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) play a vital role in Aboriginal health, it is estimated that 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access health care elsewhere.

Mainstream General Practice therefore has an important role in ensuring better service provision, including improved Health Assessment uptake." (Kehoe. H. RACGP AFP April 2017).

Our aim is to provide the education, support & resources to Mainstream General Practices to improve the healthcare of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by increasing access to targeted programs designed to overcome health disparities between Aboriginal and/or Torrers Strait Islander peoples and non- Indigenous Australians.

 

The objectives of the PHN are to:

  • Increase the uptake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait  Islander specific MBS item numbers including Health Assessments and follow up item numbers
  • Support mainstream primary care services to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self identify.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of Closing the Gap measures relevant to mainstream primary health care.
  • Foster collaboration and support between mainstream primary care and the Aboriginal and Torres  Strait Islander health sectors.

Activities:

  • Provide RACGP approved Cultural Awareness Training for General Practice staff including: General Practitioners, Nurses, Reception staff (Dates TBC)
  • Assist & encourage mainstream general practices to register for the PIP IHI incentive- benefits include: continuity of care of patients, compliance with medications & treatments, reduction of hospital presentations.
  • Encourage self identification of Aboriginality in general practice and hospital - make your Practice culturally friendly and safe - speak to the Aboriginal health Coordinator about resources
  • Review processes in how general practice staff  "ASK" the identifying question  via: Education, support, posters, brochures, other resources.
  • Promote the Indigenous Chronic Disease package for General Practitioners - Range of initiatives to support you in providing quality primary healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease and for those at risk of developing chronic disease.
  • Projects designed to target risk factors such as: Cancer Screening, Tobacco Cessation, Overweight & Obesity, Social and Emotional wellbeing.

Accessing ‘CTG’ Annotated Prescriptions

The Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Measure improves access to PBS medicines for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are living with, or at risk of, chronic disease. Closing the Gap prescriptions attract a lower or nil patient co-payment for PBS medicines.

The measure aims to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age who present with an existing chronic disease or are at risk of chronic disease and, in the opinion of the prescriber "would experience setbacks in the prevention or ongoing management of chronic disease if they did not take the prescribed medicine, and are unlikely to adhere to their medicines regimen without assistance through the measure".

PIP accredited general practices and non-remote (urban or rural) Indigenous Health Services register through the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive (IHI). Eligible patients may access CTG prescriptions from any PBS prescriber working at a IHI PIP registered practice.

Eligible patients can be registered at general practices participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive under the Practice Incentives Programme, or Indigenous Health Services in urban and rural settings. If the practice is not registered for IHI PIP, eligible patients will not be able to access CTG prescriptions.

The following prescribers are eligible to provide their patients with a Closing the Gap annotated script:

  • any medical practitioner working in a practice that is participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive under the Practice Incentives Programme
  • any medical practitioner working in an Indigenous Health Service in rural or urban settings
  • any medical specialist in any practice location provided the patient is eligible under the Closing the Gap - PBS Co-payment Measure, and has been referred by a medical practitioner working in a practice that is participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive PBS Co-payment Measure under the Practice Incentives Programme.

For more information on CTG annotation prescriptions and practice and/or patient registration requirements click here, or call us on 4632 3000 for assistance from our Aboriginal Health Coordinator.

Integrated Team Care (ITC)- CCSS

The ITC program is a program designed to support the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community (of any age)  in managing their chronic disease and is provided by qualified health workers to ensure patients are accessing services consistent with their GP care plan. The chronic diseases managed by this program include but is not limited to the following: Cardiovascular disease, Respiratory disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Renal disease.

Examples of support include the provision of appropriate clinical care, coordinating other health services as required, assisting the patient to attend appointments, encourage and support self management of their health conditions, and ensuring regular reviews are undertaken by the patient’s primary care providers.

Referrals can be made using the Triple I GP Referral Form v4.4 along with the GP management plan, and sending by fax to Triple I Hub Fax: 4621 8799 or email to: triplei@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

For phone enquiries contact Budyari Community Health 02 8781 8020 ask to speak to a member of the Aboriginal Chronic Care team.

 

Aboriginal Health Statistics for South Western Sydney:

Life expectancy at birth:

  Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Female 74.6 years 83.1 years
Male 70.5 years 79.8 years

Data resource: AIHW website

LGA - Region Aboriginal population (2016 census) Total Population (2016 Census) Number of 715's claimed (2015-2016)
Bankstown 1412 171429 122
Campbelltown 5971 157006 1712
Camden 1933 78218 339
Fairfield 1483 198817 125
Liverpool 3012 204326 450
Wingecaribee 954 47882 159
Wollindilly 1552 48519 120
       
SWS Totals 16317 906197 3027

Data resource: 2016 census 9population) & Department of Health (MBS data)

How can we improve the life expectancy for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community?

  • Encourage identification in General Practice - Ask the question- Do you identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait islander?
  • Become a PIP IHI Accredited practice- WHY? provide a full suite of services to your patients, improve health outcomes, improve compliance, provide continuity of care - Financial incentives for your Practice as well as excellent Health outcomes.
  • Ensure each of your Aboriginal patients are offered and encouraged to participate in their Annual Health Assessment (MBS 715) - WHY? Preventative Health & screening tool, gather important information, shows you are interested and will develop a good doctor/patient relationship.
  • Utilise the follow up MBS item numbers from the 715 (81300-81360) &  from the 721/723 (10950-10970)
  • Chronic patients ensure both the 715 & GPMP/TCA (721/723) are utilised

2017 SWSPHN  Cultural Awareness Training  -

Dates To be advised:

Register for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Training evenings here or download and return the attached registration form.

Alternatively, an online Active learning Module is available from the RACGP webite. Note: for RACGP members - cost is nil, for non- members there is a fee of $179.00.

The Commonwealth Department of Human Services has released online guides to help health care professionals support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. Click here for access to the full range of resources. 

 

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander service contacts

Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service -  187 Riverside Dr Airds  Phone: 4628 4837

Marumali Health Brokerage - 114 Moore St Liverpool Phone: 9602 9677

Miller (The HUB) Community Health Centre

Budyari Aboriginal Community Health Centre: Aboriginal Chronic Care Program

18 Woodward Cres, Miller NSW 2168 Tel 02 8781 8020

For more information on services available to the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community in South Western Sydney please call the Aboriginal Health Program Coordinator on (02) 4632 3000.

Resources:

Click here for access to the Australian Government of Health Department of Health resource kit providing information on health assessments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people updated with changes to the MBS item numbers resulting from the MBS review.