RACGP calls for health equality on 10th anniversary of Close the Gap Day

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NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke said the signing of the MoU acknowledged the broad support for the Aboriginal community controlled health sector.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are making the biggest inroads in closing the persistent health gap between Aboriginal and other Australians,” Mr Cooke said.

“This MOU formalises the long term collaboration between our two organisations in advocating for better health for Aboriginal people.

“We look forward to continued work with the RACGP and continuing progress in improving the health of our communities.”

The RACGP and NACCHO are committed to achieving Close the Gap campaign goals and are proud of the daily work carried out by members to improve health outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

RACGP calls for health equality on 10th anniversary of Close the Gap Day

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has renewed its push for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality to mark the 10th anniversary of Close the Gap Day.

The RACGP will join representatives from a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, including the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) on Thursday 17 March to celebrate the successes of the campaign so far, while acknowledging the challenges still facing these communities today.

Across Australia, GPs hear stories of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their resilience. GPs know that better access to high quality primary healthcare services allows people to take charge of their health and live the lives they would choose to live.

RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones said the organisation was a strong supporter and member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee, proudly joining more than 200,000 Australians committed to ending the health equality gap by 2030.

‘It is heartening to hear of the differences being made across our country, however, we still have a long way to go – life expectancy for this group of patients is 10 to 17 years less than other Australians – and it is our responsibility to address this longstanding inequality,’ Dr Jones said.

‘I am very proud to see RACGP Fellow Dr Raymond Blackman involved in this year’s Close the Gap campaign video message, highlighting the essential work GPs and other health professionals are doing with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities’

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Chair, Associate Professor Brad Murphy said while the number of GPs working directly in Aboriginal health services was small – just under 700 nationally – most GPs across Australia did contribute to the campaign’s objectives in their own communities.

A/Prof Murphy said the RACGP offered a range of education and quality improvement resources to skill Australia’s GP workforce to provide culturally and clinically appropriate healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including curriculum and vocational training standards, the National Guide to a preventive health assessment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cultural protocols, and QI&CPD activities.

‘The RACGP is committed to supporting efforts to tackle health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and acknowledges the daily work of many of its members to improve health outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients,’ A/Prof Murphy said.

‘The RACGP’s continued advocacy to implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan is another example of the hard work being undertaken to fight for this section of our community’s health equality.

‘I also urge the Federal Government to act today and lift the Medicare patient rebate freeze, which acts as a continuing financial cut to Aboriginal Medical Services.’

The development of a Reconciliation Action Plan, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising the partnership between the RACGP and NACCHO in November 2014, had also furthered the RACGP’s commitment to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, A/Prof Murphy said.

Background

Leading healthcare bodies strengthen commitment to Close the Gap

27 November 2014

Efforts to Close the Gap were bolstered today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising the partnership between the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

The MoU was signed by RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones and NACCHO Chairperson Mr Matthew Cooke at the launch of the RACGP’s Reconciliation Action Plan today at the RACGP National Office in Melbourne.

RACGP President, Dr Frank R Jones said the organisations have a proud history of partnership and have long advocated for increased awareness of barriers to quality healthcare faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“The signing of this MoU is particularly timely in the wake of last week’s Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) report which alarmingly revealed a widening gap in certain areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing, most notably mental health,” said Dr Frank Jones.

“The signing of this document signifies our unwavering commitment to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ensuring these populations enjoy optimal physical, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing.

“The RACGP has worked in partnership with NACCHO for many years, lobbying for increased investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and collaborating on key resources for GPs to ensure they are equipped to provide clinically and culturally appropriate care.”

The MoU confirms the collaborative and respectful relationship between the two organisations, who will continue to work together advocating for appropriate resourcing of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and equality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke said the signing of the MoU acknowledged the broad support for the Aboriginal community controlled health sector.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are making the biggest inroads in closing the persistent health gap between Aboriginal and other Australians,” Mr Cooke said.

“This MOU formalises the long term collaboration between our two organisations in advocating for better health for Aboriginal people.

“We look forward to continued work with the RACGP and continuing progress in improving the health of our communities.”

The RACGP and NACCHO are committed to achieving Close the Gap campaign goals and are proud of the daily work carried out by members to improve health outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

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UNCOVER THE CULTURAL BARRIERS THAT MAY BE PREVENTING YOU FROM PROVIDING THE BEST HEALTHCARE TO YOUR ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PATIENTS
Can we do better than ‘I treat everyone the same’? This question will be tackled in the workshops that we will be running across the country, with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

This six and a half hour sessions will allow you to become intimately acquainted with the experiences and stories of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, providing you with an understanding of their culture and the barriers that often prevent them from attaining effective healthcare.
This interactive forum will also encourages participates to share their own experiences and stories and together, we will discuss the best and most effective techniques in tackling this issue so as to improve the care provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families.
So do not miss this wonderful opportunity in experiencing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture including an Indigenous inspired dinner. This workshop will be a great opportunity for you to attain an understanding on how to provide more effective care to your patients and ‘bridge the cultural gap’ whilst fulfilling your QI&CPD requirements for the 2014-2016 triennium as this workshop is accredited for 40 Category 1 CPD points.
Please visit the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health events page via http://www.racgp.org.au/yourracgp/faculties/aboriginal/education/events/

to find out more about these workshops.

Please refer to the below for dates and locations of these workshops.
Date:
Wednesday 13 April 2016
Timing:
3:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue:
Risdon Cove (Piyura Kitina)
Address:
838 East Derwent Highway, Risdon TAS 7017

Date:
Wednesday 4 May 2016
Timing:
3:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue:
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
Address:
180 George Street, Redfern NSW 2016

Date:
Wednesday 22 June 2016
Timing:
3:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue:
TBC
Address:
Brisbane QLD

Date:
Wednesday 6 July 2016
Timing:
3:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue:
Charles Darwin University
Address:
Ellengowan Drive, Casuarina NT 0811

Please contact Salome Pinto on 03 8699 0528 or via aboriginalhealth@racgp.org.au for more information on these workshops.

 

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