“ The recent Central Australia Renal Study identified accommodation as the greatest challenge to indigenous kidney patients moving to towns for dialysis,
After relocating, these patients and family members often ended up homeless, socially and culturally isolated, and in many instances having to live in town camps.
We acted promptly, prioritising housing to help solve these challenges for families already under immense financial and emotional pressure from this debilitating disease.
Now patients will be comfortably housed, within easy reach of clinical treatment.”
Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt
A joint housing refurbishment project has delivered accessible, family friendly homes for Northern Territory renal patients.
Welcoming the completion of eight houses in Alice Springs and two in Tennant Creek, Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said collaboration between the Australian and Territory governments had yielded a win-win for some of the most vulnerable people in the NT.
Download Central Australia Renal Study Report
The Central Australia Renal Study was undertaken against the following background:
- Increasing numbers of Aboriginal people in the Central Australia (CA) region requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT), predominantly in Alice Springs.
- Recognition of the lack of culturally appropriate service options and, in particular, service options allowing treatment as close to home as possible.
- Recognition that treatment may require relocation and, where it does, support needs to be provided for patients and families.
- Concerns about the negative impact of a lack of culturally appropriate service options on treatment uptake.
The Australian Government contributed $6.3 million to refit and modify the homes, after the NT Government provided the original houses.
Minister Wyatt said Central Australia accounted for more than 640 patients known to have chronic kidney disease stages 3, 4 or 5.
“The problem is particularly high in the NT, where kidney health complications among indigenous people are compounded by remoteness and challenging living conditions,” he said.
Federal Government Investment Indigenous Health
The Government was now investing $3.6 billion over four years from 2017-18 for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program, an increase of $724 million compared with expenditure over the previous four years.
“Continued growth in the program will improve access to culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care for Indigenous Australians and address areas of critical need through targeted investments to close the gap,” Minister Wyatt said.
The Central Australia Renal Study was a joint study by the Australian, Northern Territory, South Australian and Western Australian Governments to develop a range of feasible clinical service delivery models and care pathways to best meet (current and projected) needs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients from remote communities requiring dialysis in Central Australia.
The study, funded by the Australian Government, assesses the current issues surrounding the delivery of renal services in Central Australia and takes account of stakeholder consultation and activity-based data.
The study was conducted by the George Institute for Global Health for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
The study was commissioned to assess the current issues surrounding the delivery of renal services in Central Australia taking into account, stakeholder consultation and activity-based data. The findings were to inform policy recommendations on the most effective and feasible service delivery options and care pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in need of renal services, including dialysis, and identify issues around the distribution of these services.
The Report of the Central Australia Renal Study consists of four sections: