NACCHO Aboriginal Health:Aboriginal Community-Controlled health services are a success: Report

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“The Report and its statistics provide a good reminder that ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders is being achieved through community controlled health services, where local people are involved in decision-making processes that effect their overall health and well-being.”

Selwyn Button, CEO, QAIHC (pictured above)

QAIHC Press Release September 2013

A report on primary health care data extracted from community controlled clinics across Queensland shows significant gains in health access and improvements, whilst demonstrating there is more work needed in coming years.

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) External Report 2013 (the Report) is a clear indication that the National Close the Gap effort is working.

The Report is a compilation of primary health care data collected from a number of QAIHC clinics across Queensland from 2009 to 2013.

It shows that QAIHC member services are providing regular care to around 70,000 patients across Queensland. This represents close to 45 percent of the Queensland Indigenous population, an astonishing number considering QAIHC member clinics are not located in all parts of the state.

Additionally, over twenty percent of the Queensland Indigenous population passed through the doors of QAIHC member services and clinics in the past six months alone.

Selwyn Button, CEO, QAIHC has welcomed the Report and the timeliness of its release.

“QAIHC member clinics are the largest provider of primary health care services to Indigenous people across Queensland,” Mr Button said.

“This Report demonstrates that the demand for more community controlled services continue to grow throughout the state, particularly in areas where a QAIHC service is yet to be developed.

“The Report is evidence that QAIHC’s services are integral in providing a much needed and significant contribution to improving the health of Indigenous Queenslanders.

“It is a reminder to us all that short term solutions simply are not the answer, and we require ongoing quality care to make a difference. Our Indigenous health clinics are up for the task and these numbers clearly show this fact.”

“QAIHC has over 40 Indigenous controlled health clinics throughout Queensland, and these community controlled health clinics are all proven success stories.”

“The growth in numbers clearly demonstrates this, but the growth in activities, including increasing number of health checks, chronic disease management plans and other related activities shows that our services are improving the quality of care

through systematic and best-practice approaches to patient care and continuity.”

The Report and its statistics provide a good reminder that ongoing efforts to improve outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders is being achieved through community controlled health services, where local people are involved in decision-making processes that effect their overall health and well-being.

The Report shows that the fundamental principles of local community governance and autonomy in decision-making can make a significant difference to Indigenous health and well-being.

“There is still much work to be done to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders,” Mr Button acknowledged.

“However, the foundations are now in place to support ongoing improvements, and the statistics in The Report are there as proof.

It is time for the Government get on board and show support community control for the Indigenous community of Queensland.”

Highlights of The External Report 2013 outlined:

• The development of QAIHC Primary Health care indicators and process for data collection and monitoring of outcomes commenced in 2007

• 20% of Indigenous Queenslanders seen in past 6 months

• 70,000 of all patient numbers across all QAIHC member services

• 200,00 patients visits across all services in past 6 months

• 41% of total patient population is made up of male patients

• 60% on average of all patients have had a health check in past 12 months

• 70% of hypertension patients on recommended medication

• 50% of diabetics on GPMP

• 49% of patients in AICCHS were smokers

• 27% of patients are overweight and 41% are obese

•15% of patients screened were identified as having poor kidney function and at risk of renal disease

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