In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments 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, we are funded by the Federal Government to work towards improving access to culturally sensitive and appropriate primary healthcare services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in metropolitan Adelaide, Yorke Peninsula and Mid North South Australia.
What is the Closing the Gap Program?
The Closing the Gap Program aims to identify and contribute to improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a chronic disease by supporting them to navigate the health care system and improve access to coordinated and multidisciplinary care. The nurses in the Care Coordination Program work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their GP to help better manage their chronic disease and gain better access to specialists, allied health workers and other community services. Our nurses help our clients to understand their health concerns, give them guidance to find the best care and provide them with the tools to manage their chronic disease well enough to avoid hospitalisation.
Closing the Gap Outreach Workers act as a link between health services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to break down any barriers and provide access to doctors, specialist appointments and cheaper or free medications. Outreach Workers can link clients to community support groups and agencies and attend appointments with health providers to make them more aware of the clients needs.
Support for General Practice
Our Closing the Gap team is 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 under 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 northern Adelaide