NACCHO Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health News: NACCHO CEO welcomes $54.7m for ACCHO sector

feature tile text 'NACCHO CEO says new measures recognises the crucial role ACCHS plan in delivering health services' & image of Pat Turner Parliament House

Image in feature tile of NACCHO CEO Pat Turner. Image source: newsGP.

NACCHO CEO welcomes $54.7m for ACCHO sector

Last night NACCHO CEO Pat Turner wrote to NACCHO Members advising of a joint announcement by Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt and Minister for Indigenous Australians, Key Wyatt of measures to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). Pat summarised the key messages in the announcement, “From 1 July 2023, four year rolling funding agreements will be introduced. This and the commitment to annual indexation will provide certainty and stability for you all. In addition to this, there will be an immediate injection of more than $54.7million to further strengthen the sector by support those services under funding pressure.”

“This is such welcome news and a real recognition of the critical role ACCHS play in delivering health services and that your work is essential in the Australian health system,” Pat Turner concluded.

You can view Minister Hunt and Minister Wyatt’s joint media release here.

collage of 4 ACCHOs Awabakal, KAMS, WUchopperen, Danila Dilba

Four ACCHOs (clockwise): Awabakal Ltd, NSW; Kimberley AMS, WA; Wuchopperen Health Service, QLD; Danila Dilba Biluru Butji Binnilutlum Health Service, NT.

COVIDSafe and COVID-19 vax messaging

The Australian Government Department of Health is promoting the following COVIDSafe and COVID-19 vaccine messaging:

Every time you go out or meet someone, you carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 🦠 to your loved ones. Even when you don’t have the symptoms, you could still have the virus in you. So don’t risk it. Stay at home 🏠 as much as possible.

Keep washing your hands regularly, stay two big steps away from others, stay home if you don’t feel well, and get tested if you have #COVID19 symptoms 🤧🤒😣. COVID is in, or near, your area so start planning for your COVID #vaccinations now.

To get tested, yarn to your local healthcare worker.

COVIDSafe messaging tile text 'FACT COVID-19 can affect everyone in Australia, including ATSI peoples'

The COVID-19 vaccine is available in your area! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can get their vaccine at any Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service. Check with your local vaccine provider how to get yours.

tile text 'fact COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from getting really sick'

New info hub on COVID-19 antiviral medicines

NPS MedicineWise has launched a hub containing information on recently approved antivirals and monoclonal antibody medicines that can be used to treat COVID-19. The hub will provide new clinical information, resources and links to help keep health professionals and consumers up to date with the latest approvals, evidence and guidance.

The hub currently features:

  • FAQs about the use of COVID-19 oral antiviral medicines in residential aged care.
  • A medicine table summarising key information about the two oral antivirals (molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir), and also the intravenous medicine sotrovimab.
  • An NPS MedicineWise podcast episode titled The new oral antiviral covid medications: What HPs need to know. Guests are Dr Kate Annear and Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe. Dr Kate Annear is a GP and medical adviser at NPS MedicineWise. Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe is a GP, Head of General Practice and GP Research at the University of Notre Dame and the NSW/ACT Faculty Chair for RACGP.
image of capsule smashing into covid-19 virus cell

Image source: NPS MedicineWise website.

NASH PKI certificates expire in March

To maintain access to important digital health tools such as electronic prescribing and My Health Record, your organisation needs to ensure that your NASH PKI certificate is renewed if it is expiring on or before Sunday 13 March 2022.

In order to complete this process, please view this short NASH PKI renewal animation which includes simple step-by-step with screenshots in PRODA and HPOS. The video is a quick and useful way to help the Organisation Maintenance Officer (OMO) for your organisation understand the steps involved.

The Australian Digital Health Agency has developed additional resources to support you during the renewal process:

GPs hand on computer, other hand holding bottle of tablets

Image source: PHN North Western Melbourne.

Risk of fatal FV spikes during separation

New research clearly shows that women are at the greatest threat of fatal violence during the process of separation. As separation draws closer, men proceed to escalate abusive behaviours: controlling, stalking, monitoring. But when the victim and offender have finally separated or are negotiating reconciliation, the period of escalation which precedes the lethal violence is often very short, on average about three months. Just three months.

Hayley Boxall, lead author of this report from Australia’s National Research Organisation on Women’s Safety, shows killers fit into three categories. First, there are the fixated threat offenders, who account for one in three of these murders. They’re the ones who look normal from the outside – the “good guys”. It’s in this category where separation as a trigger for murder is most common.

Boxall’s team describes the second category as “persistent and disorderly”, accounting for 40% of murders – killers with significant histories of violence towards their partners and others, and mental, emotional and physical health problems. They are more likely to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, with complex histories of trauma and abuse.

Boxall says this research will put the emphasis on the community, not on individual women. More often than not, these women have contact with different types of services at different stages of their relationship, and have talked about what is going on in their lives. But no one picks up the signs – or if they do, it is too late. “We’re too reliant on women to identify when they’re at risk of homicide, and to be able to articulate that. It moves the responsibility to family members, to friends, to statutory systems and services that are engaging with these women,” she says.

You can view the Redland City Bulletin new story in full here.

Woman gazing out window; 2nd image panic room installed in her home

Family violence survivor Rach has built a panic room in case she ever needs to lock herself and her kids in. Image source: Redland City Bulletin.

Mosquito warning for NSW

NSW Health has issued an alert for people to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus has been detected in samples from commercial pig farms at five locations in southern and western NSW indicating the virus is likely circulating in the mosquito population. JE is a mosquito borne disease that may affect animals, including pigs, and humans. The virus is spread by mosquito bites.

“It is really important to protect yourself from mosquito bites as mosquitoes can spread viruses including Japanese encephalitis,” said Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer. Less than 1% of people infected with JE experience symptoms, which typically include fever, joint pain, and rash.  Occasionally, JE can cause severe a neurological illness with headache, convulsions and reduced consciousness. “There is no specific treatment for JE or other mosquito-borne viruses. The best way to avoid infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes”, Dr Chant said.

You can access further information on mosquito-borne disease and way to protect yourself click here; fact sheets on specific mosquito-borne diseases, including JE, Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus here and the NSW Government website here.

University of Queensland PhD opportunity

The University of Queensland has a PhD opportunity focused on medicine safety in primary care. The research will be part of the MRFF funded trial “Activating pharmacists to reduce medication related problems: The ACTMed trial”. The focus of the PhD can take a number of directions related to this trial including: (i) co-design of the service with health practitioners and/or consumers; (ii) health service design and evaluation; (iii) medicine safety; or (iv) health economics, depending on the skills and interests of the candidate. The specific research questions can be tailored to the candidate.

The candidate will have the opportunity to work with the experienced team to improve medicine safety at ACCHOs and in mainstream health services and improve population health, including the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. First Nations candidates will have access to the UQ “Yarning for Success” program which will connect you with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers throughout their PhD.

The candidate will be required to work closely with ACCHOs, peak bodies such as NACCHO, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and other government agencies. For further information on the scholarship and application details click here.

Uni Qld purple logo & image of UQ School of Pharmacy

UQ School of Pharmacy. Image source: UQ website.

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.

COVID-19 vaccine update for Primary Care

The latest in the series of COVID-19 vaccine updates for Primary Care, providing the latest information on the vaccine rollout, will be held from 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM (AEDT) Thursday 3 March 2022.

The panel this week will be Australian Government Department of health staff, Professor Michael Kidd AM (Chair), Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Dr Lucas de Toca, First Assistant Secretary, COVID-19 Primary Care Response, who will discuss updates on vaccines and the new COVID-19 oral anti-viral medications.

GPs and all health professionals are welcome to attend the webinar and can join using this link. If you’re unable to view this webinar live, you can view it on-demand using the same link, within a few hours of the live stream ending.

tile text 'primary care covid-19 update' blue background, vector image of covid-19 virus cell

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