NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Aboriginal health funding boosted, but infrastructure overlooked

external view of medical clinic in slightly run down state

Aboriginal health funding boosted, but infrastructure overlooked

NACCHO has welcomed the increase in funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in the Budget with the Chair of NACCHO, Donnella Mills, saying, “I am heartened by the additional investment in the Indigenous Australians Health Program with $33m for our hard-working services over the next three years. I am also pleased to hear of the regional-and-remote health funding that will assist many of our clinics and the communities they serve as well as assistance for training and workforce development. These are all very welcome.”

NACCHO Conference 2017
Photo: Geoff Bagnall

“While these measures are significant, NACCHO will continue to press the Government for targeted infrastructure investment in our clinics. If stimulus is the main objective of the Budget, we believe that there is no better way to do so than to invest in local communities. There was a valuable opportunity here to invest in our 550 local clinics across the country where our 410,000 clients reside. This was an opportunity missed.”

To view NACCHO’s media release on the Budget click here.

new Armajun Aborignal Health Service Inverell being built

Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, Inverell. Image source: Adam Marshall MP website.

Mental health support extended in NPY region

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC) and Smiling Mind have partnered to see crucial, prevention-focused mental health support extend even further into Australia’s Indigenous communities. Over the past two years, Smiling Mind has worked closely with NPYWC, translating its popular in-app mindfulness sessions into the region’s Indigenous languages, in order to support the communities’ youth with tools in their native language. To date, the programs have engaged more than 2,500 subscribers, and more than 5,000 meditations have been completed. Three remote schools in the central desert region have also benefited from mindfulness training, where educators were supported to foster positive mental health habits with their students and the wider school community. 

Envato Foundation, the philanthropic arm of leading technology business Envato, have donated $100,000 to give new life to the partnership, allowing for an extension to the tools and resources already created to infiltrate further across the NPY  region of Central Australia, a region spanning 28 remote communities in the tri state region of NT, SA and WA over an area covering 350,000 square kms.  

To view the full Mirage article click here.

Aboriginal woman on Country listening to podcast

Image source: NPYWC website.

Centre for Disease Control an urgent priority

‘The pandemic experience this year is a clear reason for the establishment of an Australian Centre for Disease Control,’ says Alison Verhoeven, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive. ‘The call for this has been long-standing, with a 2013 recommendation to the Government by the Standing Committee on Health and Ageing overlooked in favour of the development of a National Communicable Disease Framework. Such a Centre would position Australia well to demonstrate global leadership in communicable disease planning and response capabilities. ‘It would also support existing state and territory disease control measures through a cohesive approach to research, diagnosis, screening, reporting, case management, contract tracing, forecasting and trend monitoring.’

To read the AHHA media release click here.

scientist in laboratory with full PPE looking at a sample

Image source: The Conversation website.

Budget health response scale warranted

Federal AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid has commended the Federal Government’s $16 billion COVID-19 health response and further stimulus spending aimed at fending off a COVID-19 recession, saying ‘The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 warrant this scale of health response and stimulus spending directed toward restarting the economy. A safe, effective and widely available vaccine is not guaranteed for next year and if it doesn’t eventuate and a large outbreak occurs, economic recovery will be threatened, along with many Australian lives. Governments cannot drop the ball and must continue a broad range of strong policies to keep COVID-19 out of the community in order to ensure a sustained health and economic recovery.’

To view the AMA media release click here.

Aboriginal flat with stethoscope sitting on top

Image source: My South West Directory website.

Telehealth must be start of a health ‘revolution’

CEO of the Consumer Health Forum of Australia (CHF), Leanne Wells, says the use of telehealth during the pandemic shows transformative change is possible in healthcare. She went on to say ‘telehealth has been stimulated by the pandemic to trigger easier and safe access to doctors, we look forward to further developments after the six month extension to March 2021 expires and we hold great ambition for the scope of services that will be possible under the 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan currently in development.’

To view the CHF media release click here.

two Aboriginal men and health professional looking at monitor

Image source: The Fred Hollows Foundation website.

 

ACT – Canberra – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Social Media Communications Coordinator

As the Social Media Communications Coordinator within the NACCHO Communications team, you will manage and maintain NACCHO’s social media presence and the daily blog. You will report to the Director, Communications and seek direction and approval on content delivery. You will work cohesively with the NACCHO Communications teams towards the creation and the delivery of social media campaigns and driving key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector news content across channels.

This position will be offered as a fixed contract on a full time or part time basis depending on the candidate. 

To view the full position description click here. Applications close 9.00am Friday 16 October 2020.

NSW – Narooma – Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services

FT Systems Analyst

Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services has a vacancy for a Systems Analyst. The focus of the role is to oversee the implementation, maintenance and upgrading of information technology systems to support the delivery of Katungul’s range of services and for related research, analysis and performance reporting functions. The Systems Analyst will be an integral member of a collaborative team that works closely with Katungul’s service areas to deliver the best outcomes for the community.

To view the position description click here. Applications close 5.00 pm Friday 16 October 2020.Katungul Log

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Daffodil Day – cancer awareness

Feature tile - Daffodil Day - Aboriginal flag with yellow daffodil as centre

Every day around five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are diagnosed with cancer. Aboriginal and Torres Islander people have a slightly higher rate of cancer diagnosis, however are approximately 40 per cent more likely to die from cancer than other Australians (Reference: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019 – Cancer series no.119. Cat. no. CAN 123).

The daffodil is recognised internationally as the symbol of hope for all people affected by cancer. Cancer Council chose it as its emblem as the bright yellow colouring heralds the return of spring, representing new life and growth. Daffodil Day is Cancer Council’s most iconic and much-loved fundraising campaign. Funds raised this Daffodil Day Appeal will help fund researchers dedicated to discovering the next cancer breakthroughs, including less harsh cancer treatments.

To visit the Cancer Council Daffodil Day Appeal website click here.

ACCHOs’ wealth of expertise much to offer

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector has a wealth of expertise in addressing the social and cultural determinants of health, responsive service development, and providing culturally safe care. The wider health sector needs to gain a deeper understanding of the contributions of the ACCHO sector.

Cover image from the report: Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in practice: Sharing ways of working from the ACCHO sector

These are some of the findings in a report from the work of the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE), a collaborative enterprise between NACCHO, Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and the University of Adelaide’s School of Public Health.

To view the full article by Croakey click here.

More required so well placed to emerge from COVID-19

Yesterday the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and members of the Aboriginal Executive Council (AEC), a group made up of 11 Aboriginal CEOs from peak Aboriginal organisations across Victoria, provided evidence to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher said the low incidence of COVID-19 cases in Victorian Aboriginal Communities was testament to Aboriginal community control and what can be achieved when working meaningfully together. In order for Aboriginal Communities to be well placed to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, however, more needs to be done now to ensure the sector is better placed to help Aboriginal communities affected by disproportionate rates of mental health and social emotional wellbeing issues, as well as justice and correctional issues.

To read the VACCHO media release click here.

Image sources: National Geographic for Kids and Belyuen youth NT, ABC News.

Additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions

The Australian Government will provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a media release Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government recognises the mental health impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on individuals and communities, particularly those in areas such as Victoria where more stringent measures have been necessary to stop the spread to the virus.

To view the full media release click here.

oil paingint of Aboriginal man with head in hand sitting on rock in outback

Image source: Camilla Perkins for Mosaic.

QLD – Cairns

FT Member Support Regional Manager – Northern Region (Identified)

QAIHC is a non-partisan peak organisation representing all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations across Queensland at both state and national Level. QAIHC members deliver comprehensive and culturally appropriate, world class primary health care services to their communities.

QAIHC is seeking an experienced, passionate and high-level manager to support its members in the Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Sector.

To view the job description click here.

Broome – WA

Regional Sexual Health Facilitator – Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service

KAMS now has an opportunity for Regional Sexual Health Facilitator to join their friendly, multidisciplinary team in Broome WA, on a full-time fixed term contract basis till 30 June 2021.

In this role, will be responsible for providing support for the coordination, development, implementation and review of practice in the area of Sexual Health in the Kimberley. In particular, this position provides advice and facilitation for an increase by clinicians in provision of opportunistic and targeted screening and appropriate management and follow up of people with sexually transmitted infections.

To view the job description click here.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: NACCHO Chair says on-the-ground Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare a priority

On-the-ground healthcare a priority for new funding

During a radio interview with The Wire NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills said the additional $33 million in government funding to strengthen primary health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, “will be used to ensure we have continuity of care and certainty of funding for three years on the ground. The funding will help with a possibility of expansion towards significant unmet healthcare needs and in areas where we see higher population growth of our people.”

To listen to the full interview click here.

AMA calls for Medicare Telehealth Items extension

The AMA has called on the Federal Government to extend temporary telehealth arrangements under Medicare, due to end on 30 September, that have supported patients to have a consultation with their doctor either over the phone or by video. AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid said “the AMA has long advocated for Medicare-subsidised telehealth consultations, and the COVID-19 arrangements have shown the value of telehealth.”

To view the AMA’s media release click here.

Images: mivision, the Opthalmic Journal website and AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid.

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

The Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin is a peer-reviewed electronic journal from the Australian Indigenous HealthInforNet. It facilitates access to new information about research of relevance to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and aims to showcase original articles as well as providing links to reports, publications, journals, resources and theses published externally to the HealthBulletin. To access the Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin click here. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin banner & logo - 3 concentric circles

2020 NAIDOC Local Grants funding round

The National Indigenous Australians Agency is inviting eligible applicants to submit applications for the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants funding round under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS). This grant funding round provides funding to organisations to contribute to the costs of local and regional NAIDOC activities across Australia during NAIDOC Week 2020 (8–15 November) that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, achievements and continuing contributions to Australia. Activities should align with the National NAIDOC Theme for 2020, ‘Always was, Always will be’.

Organisations need to complete an online application, which can be accessed here, and submit it by 7pm AEST Monday 17 August 2020.

Organisations that submitted an application for the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round that opened in February 2020 but was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic need to resubmit their application.NAIDOC Week 2020 tile including drawing of Australia with a snake border & a person inside the border; National Indigenous Australians Agency logo - circle with a curved path of circles running from the top to the bottom of the circle

Antecedents of Renal Disease in Aboriginal Children and Young People Study

The Antecedents of Renal Disease in Aboriginal Children and Young People Study (ARDAC) hopes to find some answers about why the risk of chronic conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes are so much greater for Aboriginal Australians.

The study monitors the kidney and heart health of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and young people in NSW. As a community-based, longitudinal, cohort study, participants remain involved over a long period of time. The study was initiated by Rita Williams, a senior Aboriginal Health professional at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Western Sydney and has been running since 2002.

You can access the ARDAC website here for more information. If your community would like to particpate in the study they can contact ARDAC here.

ARDAC Logo, fish, turtle, dolphin, echidna & a photo of a school child having blood pressure taken & photo of a young adult having blood pressure taken

Image Source: ARDAC website.

Digital health and aged care channels upgrade

Services Australia are upgrading their digital and aged care channels, which will impact members. They have developed the following fact sheets to provide further information about the next steps you need to take:

  • Fact sheet 1 – Web services for Medicare Online, DVA, AIR and ECLIPSE – click here
  • Fact sheet 2 – Web services for PBS Online – click here
  • Fact sheet 3 – PRODA Organisation for web services (also included with fact sheets 1 and 2) – click here
  • Update – Web services for aged care – click here

The fact sheets are also available on the Services Australia website, click here. and select ‘How to prepare for web services’ to download the Web Services Kit.

WA – Riverdale

FT Senior Advisor – Aboriginal Health x 1

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) Senior Advisors play a key role in strategy development by taking current policy and industry knowledge and turning it into tangible objectives for WAPHA’s operational teams. WAPHA is currently seeking a Senior Advisor specialised in Aboriginal Health. The role requires extensive strategic experience, strong analytical and research skills and adept communication and interpersonal skills.

You can visit WAPHA’s website here and apply for the position here or send an application directly to jobs@wapha.org.au.

Candidates must submit a CV along with a cover letter addressing the selection criteria outlined in the job posting.

photo of Aboriginal man & WAPHA logo, circles with 17 prongs - 5 blue, 6 dark red, 6 green

Aboriginal Health and #ChronicDisease 1 of 2 #SaveADates Submissions Close 15 July for Reviewing the Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI). Register for Workshops 17 June to 3 July #NSW #QLD #VIC #SA #WA #NT#ACT


NACCHO Aboriginal Health , #ACCHO’s and #Medicare : Download Your guide to Medicare for Indigenous health services’ : Includes tips from people who work with Indigenous communities every day.

The Department of Human Services has a new guide to support health professionals with all aspects of Indigenous health services available under Medicare

Your guide to Medicare for Indigenous health services includes tips from people who work with Indigenous communities every day.

The department’s Medicare Liaison Officers – Adam from the Northern Territory and Hazel from north Queensland – contribute insights based on their own experiences.

The guide can help you find out more about:

  • family and domestic violence
  • the Practice Incentives Program including the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive
  • the Practice Nurse Incentive Program
  • Closing the Gap PBS prescriptions, and
  • Indigenous Medicare servicing

Your guide to Medicare for Indigenous health services  is available online for downloading and features artwork by Indigenous Australians.

Next steps 

Read more News for health professionals

INFO HERE

Education guides

These guides support health professionals who provide services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The guides also include case studies.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health :The @AusHealthcare blueprint ‘Healthy people, healthy systems maps out how to give Australians a 21st century health system’

 

” We’re giving Health Ministers an early Christmas gift, over the past nine months Australian health leaders mapped out how to transform our healthcare system into a fit for purpose 21st century system that will meet the needs and expectations of Australians.

‘Healthy people, healthy systems is a solid blueprint with a range of short, medium and long term recommendations on how to reorientate our healthcare system to focus on patient outcomes and value rather than throughput and vested interests.”

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven. see Part 1 Below

Download Healthy people, healthy systems  ahha_blueprint_2017

 “For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, institutional racism in hospitals and health services fundamentally underpins racial inequalities in health.

It forms a barrier to accessing healthcare, and must be acknowledged and addressed in order to realise health equality.

A matrix has been developed for identifying, measuring and monitoring institutional racism. Simple and cost-effective to administer, research to date shows its value as both an internal and external assessment tool “

(Marrie & Marrie 2014). See Section 2 Performance information and reporting

“ The need for integrated care, workforce development and reform and a reorientation to primary and preventive care were central recommendations.

We would welcome more performance reporting on such measures as patient reported health outcomes and experiences of care and deeper examination of how that care will be delivered in the future and by whom.

“Prevention funding needs to be increased and to be explicitly tied to evidence-based interventions.

We strongly support many of the aims of the report Healthy people, healthy systems.”

CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells See Part 2 Below .

Great blueprint by AHHA  for a Post-2020 National Health Agreement. Fantastic to see it aligning with PHAA’s key principles of universal healthcare, a holistic view of health and well being, and health equity. ”

Public Health Association Australia

Part 1 AHHA Press Release

‘In 2018 Health Ministers and First Ministers will negotiate and agree new public hospital funding arrangements—if Ministers are committed to a healthy Australia supported by the best possible healthcare system they simply need to direct their health departments to begin rolling out the recommendations found in the blueprint.

‘Health Ministers must be more ambitious than agreeing what public hospital funding arrangements will look like after 2020. The health sector is adamant it’s time we move our system toward value-based care and away from more of the same and tinkering around the edges.

‘To do this we outline four steps with recommendations on governance arrangements, data and reporting that drives intelligent system design, health workforce reform and sustainable funding that is dependable yet innovative.

‘An independent national health authority distinct from Commonwealth, state and territory health departments  reporting directly to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) or the COAG Health Council would help take the politics and finger pointing out of health reform and allow for a nationally unified and regionally controlled health system.

‘Requiring all health service providers delivering government funded or reimbursed services to supply data on patient outcomes and other service provision dimensions will better inform system performance and help us move toward publicly available outcomes data that will empower patients to make informed choices about treatment options and providers.

‘A national health workforce reform strategy is required that goes beyond the supply and location of health practitioners and considers roles and responsibilities needed to achieve a health workforce that is flexible, competent, working to the top of their scope of practice, and actively participating in the design and delivery of health services.

‘Maintaining current Commonwealth funding levels for public hospitals, including the growth formula, will provide sustainable and appropriate support, but we need to be more innovative in our move toward value-based care. In the short term, trialling a mixed funding formula with a 25% component for achieved health outcomes relating to the top 4 chronic diseases is a start.

‘It’s time to step out of our comfort zones and transform fragmented healthcare in Australia. The blueprint’s recommendations are a good place to start. We thank the many health leaders, clinicians and consumers who have contributed to this work.’

For more information on AHHA, see: http://ahha.asn.au

To read the Healthy people, healthy systems. Strategies for outcome-focused and value-based healthcare: a blueprint for a post-2020 national health agreement, see: http://ahha.asn.au/blueprint

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s blueprint for a national health agreement as a much-need stimulus for a serious rethink of Australia’s health system.

“We strongly support many of the aims of the report Healthy people, healthy systems,”

the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells said.

“In too many corners of Australia’s health system, whether it be Medicare, primary care, prevention or health insurance, there is a lack of rigorous evaluation and less than optimal use of available data and knowledge to improve services.

“We back AHHA’s call for Australia to re-orientate the healthcare system over the next 10 years by enabling outcomes-focused and value-based health care,” Ms Wells said.

“We agree that the national hospitals agreement requires reform, that it, should be negotiated for the longer-term and that we need much better coordination and integration to promote consumer-centred health care.

“While there is undoubtedly a pressing need for a more nationally cohesive leadership and administration of health, we are not sure a national health authority as prescribed by AHHA would achieve this.  It could risk imposing another layer of management and decision-making with no certainty of any benefit.

“On the other hand, moves to greater regional coordination of health services, is the best way to achieve integrated locally responsive services. We know that integration is best achieved when decisions about how services are configured and organised are taken as close to the point of care delivery as possible by people who know and understand local services and need.  Joint planning, funds pooling and joint commissioning by PHNs and LHDs should be actively explored.

“We would urge governments to note the consistency of advice coming from Australian health leaders about how we can strengthen and improve our health system.

CHF presented an Issues Paper containing our ideas for health system improvements to Minister Hunt at our Consumer and Community Roundtable in August, see:

https://chf.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/chf_ministerial_roundatble_issues_paper_final.pdf

“The need for integrated care, workforce development and reform and a reorientation to primary and preventive care were central recommendations.

“We would welcome more performance reporting on such measures as patient reported health outcomes and experiences of care and deeper examination of how that care will be delivered in the future and by whom.

“Prevention funding needs to be increased and to be explicitly tied to evidence-based interventions.

“AHHA’s chair, Dr Deborah Cole, states that if there is a genuine commitment to delivering patient-centred care that improves health outcomes, consumers must be genuinely engaged in co-designing services and how the entire health system functions across hospitals, primary healthcare and prevention activities.

“We fully agree and hope all health leaders would actively support that rationale.  Only when we involve consumer insights in planning and evaluation will achieve better health, better experience of care and better value care” Ms Wells said.

The Healthy people, healthy systems report is at:

http://ahha.asn.au/sites/default/files/docs/policy-issue/ahha_blueprint_2017.pdf

NACCHO #Aboriginal Health and #Immunisation @AIHW reports Aboriginal children aged 5 national immunisation rate of 94.6%

 ” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer a disproportionate burden from communicable diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from person to person), with rates of hospitalisation and illness due to these conditions many times higher than other Australians.1

Part 2  below presents results for children who were identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander on the AIR. “

 In 2015–16, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 had an even higher national immunisation rate of 94.6%. However, there was wider variation across PHN areas, ranging from 98.8% in the Gold Coast (Qld) to 89.4% in Western Victoria.”

Download Healthy Communities:

AIHW_HC_Report_Imm_Rates_June_2017

See Previous NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #WorldImmunisationWeek : @healthgovau Vaccination for our Mob

Part 1 Overview MORE INFO HERE

Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect children from harmful infectious diseases and at the population level, prevent the spread of these diseases amongst the community.

Australia has generally high immunisation rates which have increased steadily over time, but rates continue to lag in some local areas.

This report focuses on local area immunisation rates for children aged 5 and shows changes in immunisation rates over time. It also presents 2015–16 immunisation rates for all children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 1, 2 and 5.

Results are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas. Where possible they are broken down into smaller geographic areas, including for more than 300 smaller areas and across Australian postcodes.

Further detailed rates are available in the downloadable Excel sheet and a new interactive web tool allows users to compare results over time by geography and age group.

This local-level information assists professionals to use their knowledge and context for their area, to target areas in need and develop effective local strategies for improvement.

The report finds:

  • Since 2011–12, childhood immunisation rates have improved nationally and across smaller areas, for all children and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Variation in rates still exists across local areas, however the gap between those areas with the highest and lowest rates is diminishing
  • Nationally 92.9% of all children aged 5 were immunised in 2015–16. All PHN areas achieved an immunisation rate of 90% or more, ranging from 96.1% in Western NSW to 90.3% in North Coast (NSW).

Summary

In 2015–16, childhood immunisation rates continued to improve nationally and in most local areas. Although rates vary across local areas, the gap in rates between the highest and lowest areas is diminishing.

This report focuses on immunisation rates for 5 year olds and presents results since 2011–12. It also provides the latest information for 1, 2 and 5 year olds for Australia’s 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas and smaller local areas.

From 2011–12 to 2015–16, there were notable improvements in rates for fully immunised 5 year olds. National rates increased from 90.0% to 92.9%. Rates increased for PHN areas too, as all areas reached rates above 90% in 2015–16.

Rates in smaller local areas (Statistical Areas Level 3, or SA3s) have also improved. In 2015–16, 282 of the 325 local areas had rates of fully immunised 5 year olds greater than or equal to 90%. This is up from 2011–12 when only 174 areas had rates in this range. Further, the difference in rates between the highest and lowest areas has decreased over time (Figure 1).

In 2015–16, the rate of fully immunised children varied across PHN areas for the three age groups:

  • 1 year olds – 95.0% to 89.8% (national rate 93.0%)
  • 2 year olds – 93.2% to 87.2% (national rate 90.7%)
  • 5 year olds – 96.1% to 90.3% (national rate 92.9%).

Part 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer a disproportionate burden from communicable diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from person to person), with rates of hospitalisation and illness due to these conditions many times higher than other Australians.1

This section presents results for children who were identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander on the AIR. These data are based on Medicare enrolment records.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, national immunisation rates in 2015–16 for 1 and 2 year olds were lower than the rates for all children (89.8% compared with 93.0% for 1 year olds, and 87.7% compared with 90.7% for 2 year olds).

In contrast, the national immunisation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 years was higher than the rate for all children (94.6% compared with 92.9%).

Primary Health Network areas

In 2015–16, the percentages of fully immunised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children varied across PHN areas for all three age groups as shown in Figure 6. The range in immunisation rates across PHN areas for the three age groups is outlined below.

  • 1 year olds – 94.2% in Tasmania to 76.1% in Perth North (WA)
  • 2 year olds – 93.4% in South Western Sydney (NSW) to 76.0% in Perth South (WA)
  • 5 year olds – 98.8% in Gold Coast (Qld) to 89.4% in Western Victoria.

Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s)

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s) were used instead of SA3s as the smallest geographic areas. There are larger populations in SA4s and this allows more reliable reporting for smaller population groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Across more than 80 SA4s, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children fully immunised in 2015–16 varied considerably:

  • 1 year olds – ranged from 95.9% in Central Coast (NSW) to 72.4% in Perth–North West (WA)
  • 2 year olds – ranged from 96.0% in Coffs Harbour–Grafton (NSW) to 71.2% in Perth–South East (WA)
  • 5 year olds – ranged from 100% in Murray (NSW) to 87.6% in Perth–South East (WA).

Figure 6: Percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children fully immunised and numbers not fully immunised, by Primary Health Network area, 2015–16

# Interpret with caution: This area’s eligible population is between 26 and 100 registered children.

Notes

  • Components may not add to totals due to rounding.
  • Data are reported to one decimal place, however for graphical display and ordering they are plotted unrounded.
  • These data reflect results for children recorded as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander on the AIR. Levels of recording may vary between local areas.

Source Australian Institute of Health and Welfare analysis of Department of Human Services, Australian Immunisation Register statistics, for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, assessed as at 30 June 2016. Data supplied 2 March 2017.

ADDED June14

Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy

Vaccination remains the best protection pregnant women and their newborn babies have against influenza.

Despite influenza vaccination being available free to pregnant women on the National Immunisation Program, vaccination rates remain low with only 1 in 3 pregnant women receiving the influenza vaccine.

Influenza infection during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery and even death in newborns and very young babies. Pregnant women can have the vaccine at any time during pregnancy and they benefit from it all through the year.

Health professional:

Pregnant women:

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : MBS Review Taskforce – Next round of public consultation now open

 ” As you are aware, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce is considering every one of the more than 5,700 items on the MBS, with a focus of how the items can be better aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice to improve health outcomes for all Australians.
 
Today, the recommendations were made available for public consultation for the following clinical committees:
  • Dermatology, Allergy & Immunology
  • Diagnostic Imaging – knee imaging
  • Diagnostic Imaging – pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis
  • Renal Medicine
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Urgent after-hours primary care services funded by the MBS

Examples

The online survey is open from today until Friday July 21, 2017.
 
It is important to note that these recommendations are not final and are being released publicly for the purpose of obtaining stakeholder feedback.

Your input as a stakeholder is critical in shaping the Review. Please use the online surveys (rather than emailing your comments directly) for accuracy and transparency when analysing your feedback.

 

If you have any questions or queries on the Review or the work of the Taskforce please contact the MBS Review Team.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : A new Health Minister must address the #medicare rebate #freeze – a barrier to health reform

 

Newly elected Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Dr Michael Gannon speaks at a press conference at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, Sunday, May 29, 2016. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

 ” The Medicare rebate freeze, which has been in place since 2010, had become a barrier to reform between the health sector and the Coalition.

It really does represent a major issue and I think it would be a fabulous sign of good faith with any new minister if they were able to move on that measure,”

Australian Medical Association president Dr Michael Gannon Speaking to Sarah Martin at The Australian

Read AMA President press coverage at NACCHO News Alerts

Doctors are calling for the country’s incoming health minister to reset the government’s relationship with the sector by ending a controversial freeze on Medicare payments.

With Malcolm Turnbull ­expected to announce a new health minister either today or ­tomorrow, doctor groups say lifting the freeze would restore faith with the sector and ease the path for future reform.”

The Prime Minister is ­considering a limited reshuffle, with Cabinet Secretary Arthur ­Sinodinos or Industry Minister Greg Hunt most likely to take on the portfolio.

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon said whoever took on the politically sensitive portfolio needed to ­implement reforms once reviews established by former minister Sussan Ley were completed, ­including one examining payments made under the Medicare Benefit Schedule.

“I am sure if the government lifted the freeze next week then they would be less likely to have the College of GPs complaining about other elements of government policy.”

President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Bastian Seidel said the organisation wanted to see the government adopt evidence-based policy that would endure regardless of who held the portfolio.

Dr Seidel said the RACGP would be calling for an immediate end to the freeze on Medicare ­rebates for doctors, saying it would make a “significant difference” to patients.

“The top priority for the RACGP and our members and our patients is to lift the Medicare rebate freeze for general practice,” Dr Seidel said.

He said ending the freeze on payments to doctors would cost $150 million a year, and called for a reprieve over the next two years while a review of the MBS was completed.

Mr Turnbull is understood to be considering whether he reduces the size of cabinet from 23 to 22 ministers, while increasing the outer ministry from seven to eight to maintain the ministry at its current level of 30.

Doing so would likely see the elevation of an assistant minister to the outer ministry, with conservative NSW MP Angus Taylor a frontrunner.

#NACCHOagm2016 Launch speech @KenWyattMP NACCHO #HealthyFutures Report Card

ken-speech

  I have been invited to launch the second Healthy Futures Report Card that is produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

I applaud the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for commissioning this annual report for the benefit of the entire sector.

This report is an invaluable resource because it provides a comprehensive picture of a point in time.

These report cards allow the sector to track progress, celebrate success, and see where improvements need to be made.

This is critical for the continuous improvement of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector as well as a way to maintain focus  and achieve goals.

We need to acknowledge the great system in place that comprises the network of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and recognise the role you play to build culturally responsive services in the mainstream system.

Our people need to feel culturally safe in the mainstream health system; the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector must continue to play a central role in helping the mainstream services and the sector to be culturally safe “

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM,MP Assistant Minister for Health and Aged care  : SPEECH NACCHO MEMBERS CONFERENCE 2016 Launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card 8 December 2016 Melbourne

img_6352

Download copy NACCHO Healthy Futures Report Card Here

Before I begin I want to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet – the Wurundjeri people – and pay my respects to Elders past, present and future. I also extend this respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.

I want to thank my hosts Matthew Cooke, Chair, NACCHO; and Patricia Turner, CEO, NACCHO for inviting me to speak and acknowledge NACCHO Board members. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Today I also want to specifically acknowledge Naomi Mayer and Sol Bellear from the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service. 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, the first such service in Australia and spearheaded by Naomi and Sol.

redfern

Thank you Naomi and Sol and congratulations on achieving such a significant and important milestone. Your work has improved the lives of countless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians because of your leadership and compassionate care.

I have been invited to launch the second Healthy Futures Report Card that is produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. I applaud the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for commissioning this annual report for the benefit of the entire sector. This report is an invaluable resource because it provides a comprehensive picture of a point in time.

reportcard-1

These report cards allow the sector to track progress, celebrate success, and see where improvements need to be made. This is critical for the continuous improvement of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector as well as a way to maintain focus  and achieve goals.

Crucially, this report card is about and for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector. It is not something that is happening at and to the sector. It’s yours.

This report card includes information from around 140 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services which provide care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The services you provide cover around two thirds of the services funded by the Australian Government for primary health care services specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

During 2014–15 these services saw about 275,000 of these clients who received almost 2.5 million episodes of care. More than 228,000 Australians were regular clients of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector.

I’m pleased that there have been a number of improvements identified since the 2015 report. Improvements include:

  •  Increases in the number of clients and episodes of care for primary health care services provided by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
  •  A rise in the proportion of clients receiving appropriate processes of care for 10 of the 16 relevant indicators. This includes:
    •  antenatal visits before 13 weeks of pregnancy
    •  birth weight recorded
    •  smoking status or alcohol consumption recorded, and
    •  clients with type 2 diabetes who received a General Practice Management Plan or Team Care Arrangement.

 Improved outcomes in three out of the five National Key Performance Indicators. This includes:

  • improvements in blood pressure for clients with type 2 diabetes, and
  • reductions in the proportion of clients aged 15 or over who were recorded as current smokers.

These are commendable results from services in some of the most diverse and challenging environments in Australia.

I echo the report’s authors when they say that the findings in this Report Card will assist Services in their continuous quality improvement activities, in identifying areas where service delivery and accessibility issues need to be addressed, and in supporting the goals of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023.

We are all united in our determination to close the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, so they live longer and have a better quality of life. A critical means to close the gap is the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The Implementation Plan has seven domains that focus on both community-controlled and mainstream services.

It is a huge step forward to have racism recognised in the Implementation Plan – this is a critical issue for the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Domain seven of the Implementation Plan is about the social and cultural determinants of health. These determinants impact on everything that we do and contribute to at least 31 per cent of the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

As we all know, health departments and health providers are only part of the solution. We need an integrated approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

To have strong healthy children and strong communities we need to have effective early childhood education, employment, housing and economic development where people live. These issues can only be addressed through whole-of-Government action. Whole-of-Government action across departments and across jurisdictions.

However, it is not only about governments coordinating their actions because governments alone cannot progress this agenda and action. This can only be done working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Implementation Plan Advisory Group, established to drive the next iteration of the Implementation Plan, comprises representatives from the Departments of Health, Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

I’m pleased that this Advisory Group also includes respected and experienced members such as:

  •  Richard Weston from the National Health Leadership Forum and the Healing Foundation, who is Co-Chair.
  •  Pat Turner from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
  •  Donna Ah Chee , Julie Tongs and Mark Wenitong who are experts on, among other things, Indigenous early childhood; comprehensive primary health care; and acute care.

See NACCHO TV Interviews

          Donna Ah Chee

           Julie Tongs

          Dr Mark Wenitong

The Group also includes jurisdictional members of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee from South Australia and Western Australia.

I believe that the next iteration of the Implementation Plan, due in 2018, will be stronger because of these ongoing—and new—collaborations and partnerships.

It is clear that you all work extremely hard on behalf of the communities you serve. You are delivering excellence in primary health care and I congratulate you on the delivery of comprehensive, holistic models of care.

At the end of the day, we share the ultimate goal of Closing the Gap in health outcomes for our people so that they live longer and experience a better quality of life.

But we also have a health system under pressure. There are frontline pressures on the whole health system from our hospitals, to rural health to remote Indigenous communities. And the pressures are mounting. There is a growth in demand for services, increasing costs and growing expectations.

Expenditure on health services accounts for approximately one-sixth of the Australian Government’s total expenses—estimated at more than $71 billion for the current financial year. This figure is projected to increase to more than $79 billion by 2019-20.

There is enormous pressure on the health and aged care sectors to do more, with less. This is why there is a clear expectation that all Government-funded organisations provide the evidence basis for what they do, and show the difference their programs are making on the ground. All of us—governments and organisations—need to ask ourselves how can we do better and continue to reform within this tight fiscal environment.

I am sure many of you will be aware of the Nous Review of the Roles and Functions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Peak Bodies and some of you, of course, participated in the Review consultations. I thank you.

The Government has not published a formal response to the Review because we recognise that what happens now is a discussion that we need to have together.

I know that NACCHO, as well as State and Territory Peak Bodies, are working with the Department of Health to chart a way forward that takes into consideration the findings of the Review.

The Nous Review provided a clear message: Peak Bodies need to play a role in supporting the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector AND mainstream health care providers to deliver appropriate and responsive health care services.

Governance reform for the Peak Bodies is a central element of the way forward. I know this is being driven by NACCHO in close cooperation with affiliate organisations and I applaud your initiative and commitment. I understand that Bobbi Campbell spoke with you yesterday on this matter, so I will keep my remarks brief.

I do want to say that it is important to Government to see the sector positioned as a key component of the overall health system with a clear unified voice.

The Government looks at the health system as a whole and expects collaboration that delivers effectiveness, efficiency and quality. We need a truly linked up, integrated, affordable and sustainable system.

We need to acknowledge the great system in place that comprises the network of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and recognise the role you play to build culturally responsive services in the mainstream system.

Our people need to feel culturally safe in the mainstream health system; the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector must continue to play a central role in helping the mainstream services and the sector to be culturally safe.

Australia has come a long way in improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but there is still a long, hard road ahead. I know that if we continue to work together, to collaborate and to talk about the issues and opportunities for the sector then the next Healthy Futures Report Card will have an even longer list of achievements.

I thank you for the work you do for the benefit of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and wish you only the best now, and into the future.

Thank you.

For further reading

NACCHO November 16 Newspaper : Aboriginal Health and wellbeing is close to my heart says Ken Wyatt

ken-news