- Experts on closing the gap in health equity
- Two outback NT clinics in dire situation
- Tackling COVID-19 misinformation
- Future-proofing our medical workforce
- New CDU audiology course
- East Kimberley celebrates PwD
- Dubbo’s first MD student intake
- New process for job advertising
Image in feature tile from The George Institute for Global Health.
Experts on closing the gap in health equity
Universal healthcare is built on the principle that every Australian should have equal access to quality healthcare based on medical need, not the size of their wallets, their postcode or their ethnicity. However, it’s estimated that 80% of health outcomes are affected by social, economic, and environmental factors.
Professionals in the medical and healthcare sector have exclusively shared their views on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health equity in Australia. The panel interview covered issues of access, affordability, data, and the collaboration required to close the growing gap.
Although the issue of health equity has existed long before the emergence of COVID-19, the pandemic brought mainstream attention to the problem, amplifying the profound impact that social, economic and environmental factors can have on our health and wellbeing.
One of the panelists, Karl Briscoe, CEO of the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners, says the pandemic has brought the systemic racism and inequality that exists within our country back into the spotlight.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have been raising the issue of health and equity, and the need for holistic joined-up approaches to address the social, cultural and environmental determinants of health and wellbeing for many, many decades.”
Two outback NT clinics in dire situation
The chief executives of two outback Central Australian clinics say they are in an “absolutely dire” situation as the neighbouring Indigenous communities battle COVID-19 outbreaks with dwindling supplies, skeleton staff, flooded roadways — and no phone service.
Utopia and Ampilatwatja, 350 kms north-east of Alice Springs, have been without road access and a reliable landline or mobile phone service for more than a week following heavy rain. Both communities are managing their first coronavirus outbreaks.
Ampilatwatja Health Centre CEO Riek Luak said the clinic’s job had become “extremely difficult” because of flooded roadways, poor telecommunications and an unusable, flooded air strip.
To read the ABC News article in full click here.
Tackling COVID-19 misinformation
The Korin Gamadji Institute, Richmond Football Club’s centre for Indigenous youth, is receiving $80,000 from the Federal Government to help address vaccine hesitancy and ensure factual COVID-19 information reaches Victoria and Tasmania’s young people. Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said the digital education campaign will engage reliable sources to share evidence-based information and will run until 30 June 2022.
“With the support of the Morrison Government, the Korin Gamadji Institute is stepping up and developing a range of creative messages across various social media platforms to engage and educate young people about the safety and effectiveness of available vaccines.”
To view Minister Wyatt’s media release in full click here.
The Federal Government is also providing $55,000 to Indigenous radio station, 3KND “Kool N Deadly”, to support the development and broadcast of reliable COVID-19 information through to June 2022. Minister Wyatt said the funding will help dispel myths and encourage greater vaccination uptake. “3KND is a stalwart in the Victorian Indigenous community, and with their audience reach, we can combat vaccination hesitancy and misinformation in a culturally safe way,” Minister Wyatt said.
To view Minister Wyatt and Senator Hume’s joint media release in full click here.
Future-proofing our medical workforce
What number, skills and distribution of doctors are needed in Australia? How can health systems give doctors flexibility to have lives as well as work, and how can more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors be encouraged into medical careers?
An approach to answering these questions has been agreed to by Australian health ministers, and has now been launched as the National Medical Workforce Strategy. The Strategy sets out how organisations that impact on the medical workforce will work together to provide Australians with access to medical services.
Actions will incorporate three overarching themes, including: improving the health care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians by growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical workforce, by working to provide more culturally safe environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical practitioners and patients.
To view the Insight+ article in full click here.
New CDU audiology course
A new Master of Clinical Audiology course is rolling out at Charles Darwin University (CDU) this year to train much-needed audiologists focused on improving Australian First Nations hearing health.
The two-year postgraduate degree at CDU will equip the learner with the essential knowledge and skills to become a qualified audiologist in Australia. The NT has the highest percentage of hearing loss and ear health issues in Australia.
To view the CDU media release in full click here.
East Kimberley celebrates PwD
In the same week the nation celebrated wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott being named Australian of the Year, the East Kimberley held its own party to celebrate its community of people living with disability.
Dozens of people gathered at the Kununurra Leisure Centre on Friday for the region’s first International Day of People with Disability event, which aims to challenge the way people think about disability and help grow a more inclusive Australia.
Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service (OVAS) support coordinator Tobi Macnamara said the event was building on the region’s growing efforts to provide a more inclusive community, with more consideration for the almost 200 people living with a disability.
While International Day of People with Disability is celebrated on 3 December each year, Kununurra service providers joined to put on their own event on Thursday 28 January after receiving a $1,000 grant to mark the occasion.
To view The West Australian article in full click here.
Dubbo’s first MD student intake
Shray Sinha is among the first intake of 24 students to embark on a full four-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) at University of Sydney’s Dubbo campus. This is the first time students will be able to complete their entire medical degree at the School of Rural Health and follows a $7 million expansion to the facility.
Students will study the same University of Sydney MD as those studying at the Sydney campus, with the added benefits of living and studying in a regional location while gaining hands-on experience. “It’s the exact same course as the Sydney medical program, with a bit more focus on rural and indigenous health which is important. I’m really excited,” Mr Sinha said.
To access The Daily Liberal article in full click here.
New process for job advertising
NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.
Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.