- Free MedicineWise app
- Enhancing viral hepatitis care
- Us Mob and HIV 4th edition
- CTG script changes in July
- Better support around Blue Card system
- $8 million for heart and stroke research
- HealthInfoNet Cultural Consultation Project
- Job Alerts
Free MedicineWise app
Do you sometimes mix up your medicines, or forget to take your doses? Or maybe you want to store all your medicines and health information in one place?
NPS MedicineWise has a free tool — the MedicineWise app — which can help you and your loved ones manage your medicines and your health.
The MedicineWise app can:
- keep track of your medicines and remind you when your medicine doses and appointments are due
- store your information such as your health conditions and allergies
- allow you to share your health information with your health professionals and people who may be caring for you
- provide you with trusted, relevant and up-to-date information relating to your medicines and your health conditions
The MedicineWise app can also deliver information specific to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members. Download the MedicineWise app and opt in:
- Tap on your profile.
- Go to ‘Personal Details’ module.
- Scroll down to switch the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander toggles on.
Talk to your health professional or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) for specific health needs or advice.
You can download the app via one of the buttons below.
Enhancing viral hepatitis care
Last week, NACCHO Deputy CEO Dr Dawn Casey gave a keynote address at the 12th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference in Sydney.
She spoke about Viral Hepatitis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and pointed out some key statistics:
- They account for 10% of those living with chronic Hepatitis B and 20% of all Hepatitis C diagnoses.
- Hepatitis C diagnosis continues to increase among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The diagnosis rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged less than 25 years are around 8 times higher than non-Indigenous people of the same age.
- Vaccination coverage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at 24 months of age is higher than the non-Indigenous population (97.5% compared to 96.4% respectively).
- The prevalence of Hepatitis B among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers has decreased by 80% since the introduction of vaccination.
“In order to enhance viral hepatitis care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we need to improve health care access through innovation, expansion, and increased appropriateness of existing healthcare services, which can reduce the multiple barriers to accessing health care among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.”
“We must draw on the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health model of integrated primary health care,” said Dr Casey.
The principles incorporated in this model ensure the following factors are addressed:
- Sustained funding
- Continued co-design and collaboration with key stakeholders
- Improved data and surveillance
- Innovative recall systems
- Multiskilled workforce and increased workforce capacity
- Community engagement and education
- Continuous Quality Improvement
- Access and effective integration of the PoCT program for rapid results, immediate treatment, and timely contact tracing
You can view Dr Casey’s full keynote address here.
Hepatitis QLD has created ‘Find the Liver Hero inside you‘ – a video about one of the hardest working organs in the body and how we can’t live without it. You can watch the video here or by clicking on the video image below.
Us Mob and HIV 4th edition
We’re very excited to share with you that the Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA) and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations’ (AFAO) new and fourth edition of the ever popular and highly utilised HIV booklet for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Us Mob and HIV is here!
The third edition was last published in 2014, so the booklet was missing several developments in the response to HIV. This new fourth edition now includes this updated information, including PrEP, treatment as prevention and new testing technologies.
The booklets are currently being printed and are on their way to AFAO’s state/territory member organisations for them to plan their local distribution to ACCHOs, AMSs, services and partner organisations. The booklets should start arriving to these organisations shortly. We can’t wait to see the booklet reaching communities.
CTG script changes in July
From 1 July 2021, there will be enhancements to the Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Program.
Please find below resources targeted at the following stakeholder groups:
- Fact Sheet 1 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Fact Sheet 2 – Community Pharmacies
- Fact Sheet 3 – Hospital Pharmacies
- Fact Sheet 4 – Prescribers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Peak Bodies
- Frequently Asked Questions for all stakeholder groups
Please feel free to share and disseminate as needed.
Please note that the Australian Government Department of Health’s CTG PBS Co-payment Program webpage will reflect current arrangements up to, and including, 30 June 2021. The new arrangements will be reflected on the Department’s webpage from 1 July 2021 onwards.
Better support around Blue Card system
In a media statement earlier today Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman released Safe children and strong communities: A strategy and action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations accessing the blue card system.
“The Queensland Family and Children Commission’s 2017 review of the blue card system recommended a more strategic approach to our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples seeking to work or volunteer with children,” the Attorney-General said. “While the review found that Queensland’s system was one of the strongest working with children check systems in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples often experienced barriers.”
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General has developed this five-year action plan which takes an innovative approach to provide greater support to our First Nations people through each part of the blue card system. Minister Fentiman said the plan was part of the Queensland Government’s broader work to address the social and health challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
$8 million for heart and stroke research
A total of $8 million to accelerate heart and stroke research has been awarded to eight Australian researchers in a joint initiative by the Heart Foundation and the Federal Government.
A central focus will be the under-researched area of women and heart disease. Other research areas will include:
- Heart damage caused by cancer treatments
- Predicting heart disease
- Heart disease rehabilitation and recovery
The research areas for the grants are based on the outcomes of an extensive two-year Heart Foundation survey of thousands of Australians, from people living with heart disease through to heart health professionals. Key outcomes highlighted gaps in the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heart disease, as well as the positive benefits of sustained rehabilitation.
The survey also found that patients are seeking more support and advice regarding recovery and prevention of further heart events, while clinicians are focused on new ways of identifying and preventing cardiovascular disease before it can take hold and cause damage.
Professor Gail Garvey, Menzies School of Health Research, NT, will research heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer survivors and identify the prevalence of heart disease in these patients.
You can read more in the Heart Foundation’s media release here.
HealthInfoNet Cultural Consultation Project
The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) is undertaking consultation discussions and focus groups with health professionals and researchers around Australia. A key element of the HealthInfoNet is to ensure its work is authentic and engaged knowledge development and exchange.
Consultation Focus Groups are being held seeking advice from health professionals and researchers on how they can ensure the HealthInfoNet sections of, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners, Closing the Gap and Cultural Ways are designed to meet the health workforce needs.
There are four questions to keep in mind when reviewing these sections.
1. What information is missing that you would like to see added?
2. What information is not needed in these sections?
3. Does the information provided assist you to carry out your work tasks?
4. How could we improve these sections?
In addition, the HealthInfoNet are seeking advice on the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Data Consultation Network/Committee to oversee Knowledge Exchange Products, for example, the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status and specific health topic reviews. Advice will also be sought about what this Network/Committee would look like and how it would operate.
If you are interested in the HealthInfoNet consultation process, would like to provide your suggestions or host a Focus Group, please forward an email to: Michelle Elwell on firstname.lastname@example.org or Uncle Mick Adams on email@example.com
NSW – Sydney – Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
Senior Project Officer Affirmative Measure – Indigenous
The Commission is seeking an Ongoing Senior Project Officer to be responsible for leading the work on the assigned work plan deliverables and the development of resources. The Senior Project Officer will also be required to contribute to broader activities to support the National Standards Program. This will include undertaking research and analysis of information, project management, policy development, stakeholder management, facilitation of meetings, preparation of project documentation and collaborating with other relevant programs within the Commission.
The key duties of the position include:
Position duties and responsibilities include:
- With the Director, lead the planning and conceptualisation of strategies and national guidance to support the National Standards Program
- Undertake project management activities including project planning and documentation, implementation, monitoring and reporting on progress; providing recommendations about managing risk, and identifying and resolving problems
- Provide secretariat support to the work of relevant committees and expert groups managed by the program
- Consult with experts and stakeholders including development of consultation strategies and coordination of formal consultation processes to achieve the objectives of the Commission
- Maintain knowledge of relevant legislative and reporting requirements, Australian and International standards, quality assurance procedures and best practice models
- Undertake work activities with an awareness of their possible impact on strategic, political or operational outcomes for the agency/program
- Provide public health and/or health informatics expertise across a broad range of activities as required.
The successful candidate will have:
- Excellent project management, time management and organisational skills
- Effective and well-developed interpersonal and communication skills including the ability to present, negotiate, influence and consult
- Knowledge of the Australian healthcare system and an understanding of issues regarding safety and quality in health care
- Experience facilitating the work of committees, and engaging and communicating with stakeholders
- Masters level qualifications is desirable.
To view position descriptions and to apply click here. Applications close midnight, Wednesday 23 June 2021.