NACCHO Close the Gap news: AMA and Pharmacy Guild continue to make an important contributions to closing the gap

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Community pharmacy continues to make an important contribution to the important national task of closing the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Press release from The Pharmacy Guild

The fact that the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, reported today that there has been “almost no progress in closing the life expectancy gap” should serve as a call to action to all in the health sector to work towards more effective solutions to this national problem.

DOWNLOAD THE PRIME MINISTERS Closing the GAP report

Community pharmacists have actively implemented the Close the Gap Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme arrangements since 2010, helping to deliver quality use of medicines to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Increased access to the PBS helps improve the prevention and management of chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The cost of medicines has been identified as a significant barrier to improved access to medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Despite two to three times higher levels of illness, PBS expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is about half that of the non-Indigenous average.

The Executive Director of the Guild, David Quilty, said: “The Guild has a longstanding and proven history of promoting equal access to pharmacy services that are culturally sensitive and appropriate.

“Additionally, the Guild is committed to the development and application of Quality Use of Medicines strategies to improve the health and health infrastructure for Indigenous people.

“That’s why we joined the ‘Close the Gap’ Campaign Steering Committee, which has called for policy continuity in critical areas of the national effort to close the gap, and also for further steps to build on and strengthen the existing platform,” Mr Quilty said.

For example, the Guild’s pre-Budget submission to the Government highlighted the fact that medication adherence is a particular problem in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and a modest, funded medication management program to meet their specific needs would improve health outcomes in a cost effective way.

LEADERSHIP AND PARTNERSHIPS NEEDED TO CLOSE THE GAP : AMA

The AMA today commended the Prime Minister on the personal drive and commitment to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians outlined in his Closing the Gap Report, and welcomed the Government’s new target to end the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance.

The AMA also welcomes today’s release of the Close the Gap Campaign Progress and Priorities Report.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said both the PM’s Report and the Close the Gap Campaign Report highlight key areas where there has been success in closing the gap and reflect a shared intent to make a real difference to improving the quality of life and health of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Dr Hambleton said the first priority is for all Australian governments to recommit to the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes for another four years, with current levels of funding.

“The AMA believes that achieving equality in health and life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a national priority,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The Close the Gap Campaign Report provides the Government and stakeholders with independent and informed feedback on how well we as a nation are performing in closing the gap on health inequality.

“The Report makes practical and informed recommendations about what more is needed to achieve health equality.

“These recommendations are made by key Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups, including the AMA, who are directly aware of what is happening or not happening on the ground.

“Importantly, the Report identifies the areas where real needs and real gaps remain to be filled.

“There is evidence of some early successes in closing the gap, particularly reduced smoking rates and maternal and childhood health.

“The AMA welcomes these successes and believes the COAG

National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes, with leadership and funding from all governments, can achieve many more successes with the right funding and commitment.

“All government and stakeholders must work together in partnership to achieve these goals.

“As the Prime Minister said today: ‘ Our job is to break the tyranny of low expectations.’”

In order to make a real difference in closing the gap, the AMA believes an implementation framework must be established for the recently-developed National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

This would involve:

  •  the development of a comprehensive set of measurable targets to be achieved over the next 10 years;
  •  the development and implementation of a service model that will effectively and efficiently achieve those targets;
  •  the development and implementation of a national workforce strategy for existing and emerging areas of need in service provision;
  •  the formulation of a funding and resource model commensurate with health care needs and priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations over the next 10 years; and
  •  clear, measurable requirements for governments to work together in genuine partnership and with the guidance of Indigenous health leaders and Indigenous communities.

Dr Hambleton said the development of this framework should be undertaken by a newly constituted Stakeholder Advisory Group, which would use the experience and expertise of Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups that have first-hand knowledge of what works, what doesn’t work, and what holds promise and is worth pursuing.

“The AMA strongly believes that getting a healthy early start in life is crucial to leading a healthy later life, which will eventually close the gap across generations,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are particularly susceptible to risk factors and stressors that can determine poor outcomes later in life and entrench the intergenerational cycle of ill-health.

“Governments need to focus greater funding on evidence-based best-practice programs in early childhood development that are delivering positive outcomes.

“The AMA outlined some of these programs in its recent Report Card on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.”

The 2013-14 AMA Report Card on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health,

The Healthy Early Years – Getting the Right Start in Life, is available at here

NATIONAL CONGRESS Press release

Congress notes the Prime Minister’s focus on school attendance in his first Closing the Gap report and looks forward to the detail of the new Closing the Gap target.
“Congress believes education is a two way relationship – we want to see as much energy and focus on making schools places that our kids want to go and our families trust and genuinely feel a part of,” said Congress Co-Chair Kirstie Parker.
“Local schools and communities need to be supported through good policy at both a state and a national level to help make this happen; attendance will not rise through punitive measures alone.
“The Abbott Government must continue the work done on developing previously announced disability and justice targets in Closing the Gap.
“The over-representation of our peoples in the criminal justice system – at around 12 times the rate of the rest of the Australian population – is both cause and effect for the poor state of health, education and employment of so many of our families and communities.
“Access to disability services is an important determination of outcomes not just in health, but in education, employment justice and housing,” Ms Parker said.
Co-Chair Les Malezer said, “We urge the Government to show leadership in closing the gap by forging a new National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Health Outcomes with all states and territories on board.
“We also urge it to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health organisations and others on implementing the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (NATSIHP) and its vision of the Australian health system being free of racism and its recognition of culture as central to the health of our Peoples and communities.
“Racism within the health sector affects access to health services -our members tell us and this was also confirmed in national NATSIHP consultations.
“Now is the time for the Abbott Government to walk the talk to continue the strong bipartisan support to close the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and life expectancy gap by 2030,” Mr Malezer said

NACCHO Aboriginal health news : Aboriginal’s in more remote areas would like to ‘take their medicine’

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” Many Aboriginal people in remote areas access medicines through Section 100 arrangements but there is often insufficient professional pharmacist advice provided in these settings.

Better funding could allow greater access for these vulnerable Australians to professional pharmacy services the rest of us take for granted.”

The National Rural Health Alliance has published a Discussion Paper about the relatively poor access to medicines and pharmaceutical advice available to people in rural and remote areas.

DOWNLOAD THE NRHA 2014 DISCUSSION PAPER HERE

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT NACCHO QUMAX PROGRAM

Tim Kelly, Chairperson of the Alliance, described the situation as an important healthcare deficit which has received insufficient attention – but one that could be resolved with some simple and low-cost changes to programs and regulations.

“The new paper demonstrates the extent to which people in Australia’s rural and remote areas have poorer access to prescribed and non-prescribed medicines, less advice about the use of medicines, and poorer access to professional pharmacy services,” Dr Kelly said.

“As with so many other issues in the rural and remote health sector, there is a gradient of deficit as one moves from major cities through regional areas to remote and very remote places. Our Discussion Paper explores these issues and begins scoping for a project which could advise Australian governments on the best ways to improve the situation.”

The paper describes how and where people access medicines and considers the bottlenecks and inefficiencies that need to be addressed.

Reimbursement through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is the main means by which the Australian Government funds access to medicines and there should be action to bolster the supply of pharmacists (and the services they provide) to rural and remote areas of Australia. For instance there could be scholarships for pharmacy students from rural areas and increased incentives for rural pharmacists to provide training opportunities for pharmacy interns.

The Alliance proposes the investigation of ways to simplify medication prescribing and dispensing legislation and evaluate how such things as pharmacy outposts and telepharmacy can allow more equitable access. Small rural hospitals often do not have the capacity to employ a pharmacist, but they could if the role also provided professional support to local Aboriginal Health Services and professional medicines reviews in the community.

People living outside major cities also have poorer access to advice related to medicines, and this has implications for both the safety of patients and for the effectiveness of their medications. There should be better integration of various programs already in place for the provision of medicines and pharmaceutical advice. By prioritising Quality Use of Medicine initiatives, the government could better manage and reduce chronic disease in rural and remote areas.

Many Aboriginal people in remote areas access medicines through Section 100 arrangements but there is often insufficient professional pharmacist advice provided in these settings. Better funding could allow greater access for these vulnerable Australians to professional pharmacy services the rest of us take for granted.

The Alliance is calling for action on this issue and for further investigation of potential solutions. It is time to ensure that people in rural and remote Australia receive the same level of health care as those in the major cities, including access to medicines.

NACCHO health conference alert: Health Workforce National Conference to discuss Close the Gap initiatives and supporting workforce

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National initiatives to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy and to build the supporting health workforce will be discussed and debated at Health Workforce Australia’s (HWA) 2013 national conference in November.

Information and registrations here

The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is more than 10 years less than other Australians. In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation by 2031.

This commitment affects all health professionals and the way care is provided.

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Greg Craven, Deputy Chair of the COAG Reform Council and Adrian Carson (pictured above ), Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, will take part in a panel discussion at HWA’s conference, Skilled and Flexible – The health workforce for Australia’s future.

The session will feature a discussion on the progress made to improve health outcomes to close this gap and how Australia is tracking against its commitment. Mr Craven will also focus on flexible service delivery and funding.

“Any effort to close the gap must acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers make an invaluable contribution,” HWA Acting Chief Executive Ian Crettenden said.

“They are often the first point of contact because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people find it easier to access healthcare services from someone who they can relate to, who understands them and their culture.”

Janine Headshot

Romlie Mokak, Chief Executive of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association, and Janine Milera (pictured above) , Chief Executive of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, will reveal initiatives underway to help increase the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the Australian health workforce.

Murra Mullangari – Pathways Alive and Well is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health careers development program, established by the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association to encourage Indigenous senior secondary school students to remain in school and pursue health careers.

Ms Milera will describe initiatives to overcome the challenge of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being uncomfortable using mainstream healthcare services.

More than 50 local and international speakers will explore the latest ideas on leadership, innovation and workforce reform at the event at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 18 to 20 November.

Registrations are now open for this year’s conference.

Concession tickets cost $350 and full price tickets are $600.

To attend the conference and find out more visit www.hwa.gov.au/2013conference

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NACCHO funding alert:QUMAX registrations for the 2013-2014 are now open:closes April 12

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 All services are invited to register to participate in the QUMAX Program.  The QUMAX (Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples) Program provides services with funding to assist with improving the way medicines are used to maximise the benefits to the client.  

A range of initiatives may be eligible for funding under all or some of seven categories.

 Possible initiatives may include;-

  • the supply of delivery devices such as spacers for asthma medications,
  •  transport to collect medicines,
  • dose administration aids to help with compliance,
  • education tools such as Ibera software licences and medicines reference texts,
  • medication education for staff,
  • cultural training for pharmacists and pharmacy staff and
  • facilitation of medication reviews for clients.

The QUMAX program has been running since 2008 and has guaranteed funding to 30th June, 2015 under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. Administration of the program is shared between NACCHO, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Department of Health and Ageing.

Participation in QUMAX requires an annual registration process. This is done online using the NCN a custom built program for the administration of QUMAX. Patient numbers and the number of services registered are used to allocate the annual QUMAX budget.

Services will be notified of their budget and be asked to complete a workplan shortly after the close of registrations.

You may access the NCN through NACCHO’s website. Most services will already have staff that have been provided with usernames and passwords that enable them to logon and complete the registration form.

If you are new to the NCN or QUMAX please contact the QUMAX Program Manager at NACCHO to arrange access to the NCN. See contact details below

An alternative to accessing the NCN through the NACCHO website is to follow the link. http://ncn.naccho.org.au/ncn/ncn_admin.pl?rm=main

Registrations close on Friday 12th April, 2013 (late registrations will not be accepted).

To be eligible to register for the QUMAX program a service must meet the eligibility criteria:

• Employ a General Practitioner(s);

• RRMA classification of 1-5 (i.e. a non-remote location) (1991 Census Edition);

• Not currently eligible for the Section 100 Pharmacy Support Allowance Program;

• Agree to the QUMAX Program Specific Guidelines; and

• Be funded by OATSIH for the provision of primary healthcare services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Additional program specific details may be found at the following link.

DOWNLOAD HERE

If a service is auspiced the auspicing body must register and include the auspiced service’s patient numbers in their registration. A budget allocation will be made to the auspicing body.

If you have any queries or require further information about QUMAX or the registration process

Please email the QUMAX Program Manager

  or call 02 6246 9310

Improving identification of Aboriginal patients in general practice

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The access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to medications is improving, but more could be done to identify Aboriginal (Indigenous ) patients in general practice, says Jill Dixon, a project manager working in Indigenous health.

Access to primary health care outside the community controlled primary health care services requires patients to be identified and recorded as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage by the general practice to receive access to the closing the gap prescription co-payment relief measure.

General practice also needs to be registered for the Indigenous Health Incentive, Practice Incentive Payment, to be eligible to provide co-payment relief prescriptions

Improving identification of Aboriginal patients in general practice

Our thanks to Jill Dixon for permission to republish:

And the continued support of  Melissa Sweet CROAKEY

Photo above supplied by Wayne Quilliam Photography

A recent issue of Australian Doctor (8 November 2012) reported that a significant number of GPs did not know about a scheme that enables eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to receive free or cheaper PBS medications.

The cost of medications has been identified as a key factor that prevents many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from obtaining optimum healthcare.

The PBS co-payment measure was introduced in 2010 to address this financial barrier and is a key measure to help close the inequity gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.

The scheme has been successful beyond all projections in providing Indigenous access to vitally needed medications, especially for people with chronic conditions who previously could not afford to fill their prescriptions.

The recently released Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2012 Report says that, by June 2012 approximately 150,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (compared to an anticipated number of 70,000) had accessed the initiative.

Ninety-six per cent of pharmacies participated in the scheme, dispensing 2.7 million prescriptions during that time.

This translates to a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being better treated for the prevention or management of chronic disease.

However, the report also claims that, while the gap is closing, there is still more to be done in ensuring access to medicines through the PBS Co-payment scheme for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The most recent data (2008-2009) shows that benefits paid through the PBS scheme were about 74% of the level of expenditures for non-Indigenous people, and total expenditure was only 44% of that for non-Indigenous people.

Surprisingly, the gaps between expenditures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people are greatest in non-remote areas, because of special provisions for pharmaceutical services for those living in remote and very remote areas.

In addition to cost, another barrier is the extent to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people access – or are known to access – primary and specialist health care services in the first place.

Mentioned in the above report is the importance of the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in those services. After all, how can a GP provide prescriptions under the PBS Co-payment measure if they don’t know that their patient is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin?

Another recently released report provides some useful information here. The Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) Report states that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who constitute about 2.5% of the total population, were identified at only 1.6% of total GP encounters.

This is only marginally better than findings from 10 years ago, in the 2002-3 BEACH report, which found identification occurring at 1.2% of encounters. See the comparisons here.

We now know that the vast majority of pharmacists actively support the PBS Co-payment Measure.

However, we have no equivalent information on the percentage of general practices that identify the Indigenous status of their patients, thereby helping to start their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients on the pathway to better health outcomes.

The BEACH data suggest that routine identification in general practices is low, and this would then lead to the generally low uptake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific health interventions.

There are many reasons for the low rates of Indigenous identification in general practice.

One is that many GPs and practice staff believe that they don’t have any Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people amongst their patient group. This is often an assumption based on the location of the practice, or that their patients ‘don’t look Aboriginal’.

Some practice staff believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be treated just the same as non-Indigenous patients, and so should not receive any special services earmarked for them.

The gap between the health outcomes and life expectancy rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is now well known, and the government Closing the Gap health initiatives are intended to address this shameful discrepancy.

All GPs and practice staff are strongly urged to participate in these measures, starting with routinely identifying the Indigenous status of their patients.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publication National best practice guidelines for collecting Indigenous status in health data sets is the place to start.

Note:

The RACGP Standards for General Practices (4th edition) require general practices seeking accreditation to demonstrate that they ‘routinely record Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status in (their) active patient health records’. See the RACGP position statement.

The PBS Co-payment Measure is intended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age who present with an existing chronic disease or are at risk of chronic disease and in the opinion of the prescriber would experience setbacks in the prevention or ongoing management of chronic disease if they did not take the prescribed medicine and are unlikely to adhere to their medicines regimen without assistance through the Measure. For more information, see here.

NACCHO pharmacist joins live and interactive TV Rural Health Channel 16 October

Do you take your heart tablets everyday as directed by the doctor?

If you don’t, you are not alone.

Research has shown that patients don’t take their heart medicines properly and this has become a significant burden on the health care budget.

Heather Volk, pharmacist with NACCHO joins a panel with Dr Rob Grenfell, Dr Christine Connors and Ms Megan MacDonald, chaired by Dr Norman Swan to discuss some of the reasons for non-adherence to cardiovascular medicines.

Join the Rural Health Education Foundation live interactive panel discussion.

Details of the live broadcast are below.

Non-adherence to cardiovascular medicines has become a large burden on the healthcare system budget; 30% of all prescriptions dispensed in community pharmacies are for CVD, and 20% are for hypertension.

Adherence to cardiovascular medicines ranges from 11% to 83%, depending on the condition being treated and medicine type

  • Some level of nonadherence is to be expected
  • Poor adherence has a direct impact on patients’ absolute CVD risk levels
  • Health professionals can positively impact patients behaviour
  • Collaborative decision making with patients improves adherence

This program examines the underlying issues as to why patients struggle to adhere to medications and lifestyle changes.

Hear the latest evidence on strategies that have been proven to help and learn what you can do to improve your patients’ adherence and achieve better health outcomes for them.

Live Interactive Panel Discussion

Chair: Dr Norman Swan

Dr Rob Grenfell – Rural GP and Clinical Director Heart Foundation

Dr Christine Connors – Chronic Conditions Unit, NT Health

Ms Heather Volk – QUMAX Program Manager,NACCHO

Ms Megan MacDonald – Registered Nurse, SA

Accredited with ACRRM, RACGP & RCNA.

CPD points also available from other professional organisations.

 This program is funded by MSD Australia

Rural Health Channel

Tuesday 16th October, 2012

Watch live: Channel 600 on VAST

8:00pm NSW, ACT, VIC & TAS

7:30pm SA

7:00pm QLD

6:30pm NT

5:00pm WA

Watch again:

Thursday 18th October 2pm (AEDT)

& online www.rhef.com.au

Sydney Pharmacy Indigenous Camp Jan 2013 application open

What is the Sydney Pharmacy Indigenous Camp (SydPIC)?

SydPIC is a camp that incorporates pharmacy workshops, laboratory sessions and field trips that will give you a taste of university education and a career in pharmacy.

It will be held from Sunday 20 January to Thursday 24 January 2013 for up to 15-25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, male and female, from Years 10 and 11 in this current year. The SydPIC program will run over four days during which you will be introduced to the University, campus life and pharmacy.

Is Pharmacy for me?

If you…

  • are good at maths and science
  • enjoy working with people
  • like working as part of a team
  • like to tackle challenging problems

…then pharmacy may just be what you’re looking for!

What will I do at SydPIC?

You will tour the university campus, live on-site in college accommodation; participate in challenging workshops and fun team-building exercises including working in the laboratory to prepare creams and lotions, make tablets and extract the active ingredients from medicines. In addition you will learn about the benefits and harmful effects from commonly used medicines.

Guided by your tutors – pharmacy teachers and a practising indigenous pharmacist – you will visit and speak with hospital and community pharmacists, and be introduced to the science and practice of pharmacy. You will also have the opportunity to meet current students to find out firsthand what it is like to study pharmacy at the University of Sydney.

You will also have the opportunity to discover more about the city of Sydney via a night out on a harbour cruise.

If you would like to know more about the study camp, please read our brochure.

Cost

SydPIC is a fully sponsored event by the Faculty of Pharmacy. All your travel costs to and from Sydney, as well as accommodation, tuition, insurance and food will be covered. The only money you many require is pocket money when travelling and during your stay in Sydney.

Applications

If you wish to apply for SydPIC you will need to complete an application form. Applications need to be submitted by 26 October 2012. Further details can be found on the application form.

Or for more information, please contact:
SydPIC coordinator
Faculty of Pharmacy
T +61 2 9036 7647
E pharmacy.sydpic@sydney.edu.au
SydPIC is associated with the University of Sydney Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu Indigenous strategy.

Press release 27 March 2012:Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and the Pharmacy Guild continue to Close the Gap in access to medicines

 A continued robust partnership between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia will see vast improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders getting the prescription medicines they need, along with tailored advice and assistance

 At a national joint QUMAX and S100 forum in Melbourne this week over 250 delegates discussed the need to integrate three vital programs that support medicines access and quality use of medicines for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

 Justin Mohamed, the Chair of NACCHO said that all delegates supported the three programs as working well within their services and providing substantial benefits to the Aboriginal community nationwide. The three programs being the  section 100 supply and support programs for remote area Aboriginal health services, the QUMAX program for non-remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services, and the closing the gap PBS co-payment relief measure.

 “This forum proved that the networking of Aboriginal health services with prescribers, pharmacies and allied health professionals will produce outcomes to progress the continued improvement of these programs towards quality use of medicines for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and that will be one more step to Close the Gap” Mr Mohamed said.

  “These programs are an example of a true partnership to Close the Gap. It demonstrates the significant impact that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services can make in improving Aboriginal people’s access to health care, in partnership with industry and Government. If access to medicines is improved, then chronic disease can be reduced, and we can start to see some improvements in Aboriginal people’s life expectancy.”

 “To close the gap we need to also help those patients who are the most needy and hard to reach. Our member services are able to do that because our services know the community and they are run by the community, for the community,” Mr Mohamed said.

Feb 2012 CEO report -QUMAX

Forum: The Department of Health & Ageing is funding a joint QUMAX/S100 Forum on the 26th & 27th March 2012. One funded position is available for each participating ACCHS and all NACCHO Affiliates. This symposium is for all ACCHSs and remote area Aboriginal Health Services. NACCHO is a core partner in developing the Forum and Marilyn is participating. Forum Presenters include the NACCHO Chairperson, NACCHO PHMO, Senior Policy Officer and others.

 Participation: 71 ACCHS are currently participating in QUMAX. ACCHS Work plans are submitted via the National Communication Network (NCN) and each work plan is approved on the system by NACCHO, PGoA and DoHA. The NCN logs the submission and approval dates. The first ACCHS submitted work plan was on 16 June 2011 and the last submission date for an approved work plan was 17 January 2012. All but 2 work plans have been approved to date, funding is contingent upon submission and approval of work.