“Despite all of the effort that has gone into closing the gap, the difference between the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people remains stark. The rate of preventable hospital admissions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is three times higher than non-Indigenous people.
GPs can make a real difference – as the first port of call for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, GPs can do a great deal to improve patient care and health outcomes.
The RACGP’s revised position statements address factors that are key in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, including social determinants – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.
Colonisation, racism, poor investment and lack of equity impacts on people’s health outcomes, putting people at higher risk of early death.
The research suggests that approximately 35% of the health gap is linked to social determinants.
As primary healthcare providers, GPs can and do help to explore social circumstances, identify opportunities for interventions, and support coordination for patients.
Social prescribing is one example of social support which can be provided by GPs and make a big difference for patients. However, current funding does not adequately support GPs to address social and cultural issues with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients – this needs to change.”
In his last press release RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon working right up to his passing said there was considerable work to do to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes. See full press release Part 1 below
“ RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon has passed away aged 57 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
He died peacefully in his sleep nine months after first being diagnosed.
The RACGP Board, on behalf of all members, has extended its deepest condolences to his partner Lindy Van Camp, children Hannah and Ella, and his friends and many colleagues.
A Sydney-based GP and practice owner, Dr Nespolon was elected RACGP President in July 2018 on the strength of a long career successfully leading membership-based organisations. He quickly became a familiar face as the spokesperson for the RACGP, working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the profession and Australia’s 41,000-plus GPs.
Part 1 : The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) this week launched position statements to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare.
It comes as the RACGP celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, founded in 2010 to help ‘close the gap’.
Now with over 11,000 members, the Faculty is focused on growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP workforce and ensuring high-quality culturally responsive care.
The RACGP has launched five revised position statements to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare, covering a range of issues, including social determinants of health and improving primary care for patients.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said there was considerable work to do to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.
Chair, RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, RACGP A/Professor Peter O’Mara said he was proud of the Faculty’s work to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the RACGP’s National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, I am proud of what we have achieved. Particularly our Memorandum of Understanding with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and ongoing support for the Close the Gap campaign.
“Culturally appropriate health delivery systems will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – but they need to be adequately resourced.
“The RACGP is advocating for funding to implement our Vision for general practice, which will support GPs to provide high quality care and better respond to the individual needs and circumstances of all patients.
“We are also calling for greater investment in the growth and sustainability of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce, across a range of professions, including cultural positions such as traditional healers.
“I urge policymakers to follow the advice of the Coalition of Peaks and give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people real power to make change in their communities.”
- Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
- Increased investment in ACCHOs
- A stronger primary care system
- Working together
- Addressing social determinants of health
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (the faculty) is celebrating a significant milestone in 2020 – the commemoration of our 10th year of operation.
The faculty was established to drive the RACGP’s commitment to developing a culturally informed GP workforce, increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GPs and advocating for equity in the health system.
Now with over 11,000 members, the faculty is continuing to strengthen its presence and influence.
Over the past ten years, the faculty has celebrated many significant achievements. Central to this has been the hard work of members, GPs in training and medical students, which we have recognised through our annual awards.
Find out more about our past winners on our website.
The faculty supports the following three awards:
- Standing Strong Together – for RACGP Fellows working with community to deliver health improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities
- Growing Strong – for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander GP in training, to support their training journey to Fellowship
- Medical Student – for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander medical student with an interest in general practice
We encourage anyone with an interest in general practice and a career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to consider applying.
The faculty staff are here to assist you – if you have any questions, please contact us via:
Nomination forms and further information can be accessed here: www.racgp.org.au/indigenous-health-awards-2020
Nominations will close on Friday 4 September 2020. Please contact us if you have any questions via firstname.lastname@example.org