Aboriginal Health Workforce Online Training #CoronaVirus News Alert No 58 : May 12 #OurJobProtectOurMob #KeepOurMobSafe : Empowering Aboriginal Health Workers is the key in battle against COVID-19

“The Aboriginal Health Workforce have important cultural knowledge and key relationships in their communities, so they are critical to helping with public health responses such as contact tracing, public health messaging in community, and supporting quarantine and isolation measures.

Empowering Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, who have existing community and cultural knowledge, is key to controlling and managing COVID-19 outbreaks in remote Indigenous communities’

Alyson Wright and the Australian National University, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program and MAE team in Research School of Population Health were responsible for the development of these modules and includes epidemiologists, clinicians and public health researchers.

Originally published HERE

Protecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from COVID-19 requires more than just an understanding of the virus itself.

Empowering Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, who have existing community and cultural knowledge, is key to controlling and managing COVID-19 outbreaks in remote Indigenous communities.

Alyson Wright and a team from RSPH have developed a series of culturally appropriate training in infection control, contract tracing, interview techniques, and the use of personal protective equipment, which are available online.

“We can’t eliminate COVID-19 without a vaccination, but we can reduce the impact of disease by ensuring we have a skilled workforce who can respond quickly to outbreaks and areas of community transmission,” says Wright.

The team have focused on delivering training through online modules due the travel restrictions and border closures associated with COVID-19.

The training modules can be completed for free online at the Australian Government’s Infectious Control Training Platform, and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW COVID-19 training website.

Hard copies can also be sent to communities on request.

While the training is focused on COVID-19, the skills developed in this training will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers respond and prevent other outbreaks in future.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program and MAE team in Research School of Population Health were responsible for the development of these modules and includes epidemiologists, clinicians and public health researchers.

Many of the staff are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander epidemiologists or have had experience working in Indigenous Health or in public health in developing countries and low resource settings. This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

You can access additional support material for the training modules here and here.

Enquiries about the training or resources can be sent to atsiph.covid19@anu.edu.au.

Aboriginal Health #CoronaVirus News Alert No 54 : May 5 #KeepOurMobSafe #OurJobProtectOurMob : Our frontline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce can now download resources on how they can protect and care for themselves , their families and our communities.

To assist our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals NATSIHWA has lead a project in collaboration with AIDA, IAHA and CATSINaM to develop a resource toolkit that includes oosters on important contacts, tips and information to help you care for yourself, as well as posters for distribution in your communities.

The toolkit is available now A&TSI Health Professionals Resource Toolkit .

To avoid a second wave we all have to continue to be cautious and vigilant.

As Health Professionals it is important that you keep yourself informed and understand what you need to do in case of an outbreak.

We are facing uncertain times. As we work collectively to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we know that our people are at a higher risk.

Please look after yourselves and each other. “

NATSIHWA Press Release continued below

As the frontline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce it is important you know how to protect and care for yourself, your families and our communities.

We all need to do things differently. People’s lives are at risk.

Everybody needs to know the signs or symptoms and how to keep each other safe. In particular, care must be taken around the elderly and those with chronic health conditions – they are most at risk.

We have never been in a situation like this before and it is changing all the time. Over the coming weeks your regular roles may change dramatically and you may be faced with additional demands.

You will need to take particular care of your own physical, cultural, spiritual, mental, social and emotional wellbeing.

We have put this pack together to assist and support you in this changing environment.

It includes tips and information to help you care for yourself, as well as, resources for distribution in your communities. To make sure you are getting the most up to date and correct information we will continue to publishing links, resources and information on our websites, social media pages and newsletters.

Stay informed and join NATSIHWA for free! Join here

The official Australian Government website is a good source of information.

They have also developed an online COVID-19 infection control training module and we would encourage you all to do the training .

Another good source of collated information from primary sources is the Indigenous HealthInfoNet COIVD19 portal.

To protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading everyone must practise good hygiene, physical distancing and self-isolation when required. As a general rule the hygiene procedures that you apply in the clinic or your workplace should also be applied at home.

We are working closely together and our operations will continue to run so if you want to have a yarn, need assistance or to raise any concerns, please give us a call. We are here for you and our communities.

We acknowledge and thank you for the work that you do. Please stay safe.

The teams at: NATSIHWA, CATSINaM, AIDA and IAHA.

Contents

Be prepared

  1. Other Routine Precautions in your Clinic or Practice
  2. Establish Staff logs
  3. Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other waste
  4. Handling of linen

Looking after yourself

  1. Tune into SELF – your OWN health and wellbeing
  2. We need you to be safe for you, and for your families and your communities
  3. Try to eat well, get sleep and exercise if you can.
    You will need this energy to get through this
  4. Feeling confident and supported
  5. Keeping you and your family well and safe
  6. Staying connected to culture and the environment
  7. Reminders for your clinic

Resources to help you keep our communities safe

The toolkit is available now A&TSI Health Professionals Resource Toolkit

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #CulturalSafety : Download National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025 focusing on #Indigenous patient clinical and cultural safety.

When we talk about patient safety it’s important to understand that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this is inextricably linked with cultural safety.
This means that cultural safety is not an ‘add on’ or ‘nice to’. It’s something all registered health practitioners and health regulators need to understand and apply’,

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association CEO, incoming Strategy Group Co-chair Mr Karl Briscoe 

Photo above : Prof Gregory Phillips, Karl Briscoe, Martin Fletcher & Gill Callister launching The National Scheme’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health & Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025. Source

February 27 marked the release of a new strategy prioritising cultural safety in the health system brought forward by First Nations health experts, regulators and health organisations.

The National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025 focuses on Indigenous patient clinical and cultural safety.

Download the Strategy 2020-2025

Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-cultural-health-and-safety-strategy-2020-2025 (1)

Presented by Ahpra (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) and National Boards, the strategy was endorsed by 43 organisations, academics and individuals.

With the four objectives of cultural safety, increased participation, greater access and influence, the strategy has already achieved some of its targets, including:

  • Partnering with the National Health Leadership Forum to develop a baseline definition of cultural safety
  • Commissioning a high-quality cultural safety training
  • Recommending and advocating for changes to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Established by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group, the strategy was led by First Nations organisations and individuals.

The Strategy focuses on achieving patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the norm and the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety.
A key feature is that the Strategy was led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and individuals via the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group that represents all signatories to the Strategy (see below).
Inaugural Co-chair of the Strategy Group Prof Gregory Phillips said this work has been a long time in the making and marks an important milestone for addressing health equity.
‘The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group has already instigated and progressed significant reform to help achieve health equity and address racism in the health system.
We are proud of our achievements to date and the launch of the Strategy.
We have much work to do, but together we can have a broad-reaching effect that will help embed cultural safety into the health system across Australia.
This is a significant step in the right direction to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s health, and the national priority of a health system free of racism,’ said Prof Phillips.
Ahpra Chair Ms Gil Callister PSM said ‘self-determination has underpinned this work. The Strategy Group was guided by a caucus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members to lead this work and reach a clear definition of cultural safety.
As we saw in the recent 10-year Closing the Gap report – our health system must embrace this strategy to fundamentally improve the health of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.’
Strategy Group Co-chair and Chair of the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia Ms Julie Brayshaw said ‘cultural safety needs to become the norm in order for patient outcomes to become equal between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians. Without cultural safety, there is no patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.’
CEO of the Dental Council of Australia Ms Narelle Mills said the collaboration of the signatories and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership means the Strategy is an opportunity to demonstrate strength and commitment in this vitally important area.
‘With this Strategy, 43 entities have a clear way forward to support cultural safety, work in a culturally safe way and deliver to clear strategic objectives that seek to embed cultural safety across the registered health workforce, education providers, students and the entities regulating health practitioners’, said Ms Mills.
 The vision
Patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the norm. We recognise that patient safety includes the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety, and that this link must be defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

 

 The objectives
 Cultural Safety A culturally safe health workforce through nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines across all registered health practitioners in Australia.
 Increased participation Increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the registered health workforce and across all levels of the scheme regulating registered practitioners nationally.
 Greater access Greater access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to culturally safe services from registered health practitioners.
 Influence Using the Strategy Group’s leadership and influence to achieve reciprocal goals. This includes developing a nationally consistent baseline definition to be used across the scheme regulating registered practitioners nationally, which has already been achieved in partnership with the National Health Leadership Forum.

As part of the Strategy, some key achievements have already been delivered:

  • partnering with the National Health Leadership Forum (the forum for national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health peak organisations) to develop, consult and finalise a baseline definition of cultural safety for the scheme for regulating health practitioners
  • commissioning high-quality cultural safety training to ensure that the regulation of health practitioners, including the development of standards practitioners must meet and the handling of notifications (concerns about registered health practitioners), is culturally safe
  • recommending and advocating for changes to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to ensure consistency in cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Signatories to the Strategy

The Strategy was developed with the leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations and individuals, and is proudly endorsed by:

 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Accreditation Committee
  • Dental Board of Australia
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia
  • Ahpra (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency)
  • Medical Board of Australia
  • Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council
  • Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee
  • Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council
  • Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association
  • Australian Dental Council
  • National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
  • Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association
  • Occupational Therapy Board of Australia
  • Australian Medical Council
  • Optometry Board of Australia
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council
  • Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand
  • Australian Pharmacy Council
  • Osteopathy Board of Australia
  • Australian Physiotherapy Council
  • Paramedicine Board of Australia
  • Australian Psychology Council
  • Pharmacy Board of Australia
  • Chair, Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Ltd
  • Physiotherapy Board of Australia
  • Chinese Medicine Accreditation Committee
  • Podiatry Board of Australia
  • Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
  • Prof Mark Wenitong
  • Chiropractic Board of Australia
  • Prof Noel Hayman
  • Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives
  • Prof Pat Dudgeon (represented by Dr Sabine Hammond)
  • Council of Chiropractic Education Australasia
  • Prof Roianne West, Dean First Peoples Health
  • Councils Presidents Forums (NSW)
  • Psychology Board of Australia


Please note this list includes organisations that have provided endorsement and interim endorsement.

For more information

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Resources Alert : Download @HealthInfoNet Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2019 : Continuing to show important positive developments for our mob

In the Overview we strive to provide an accurate and informative summary of the current health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In doing so, we want to acknowledge the importance of adopting a strengths-based approach, and to recognise the increasingly important area of data sovereignty.

To this end, we have reduced our reliance on comparative data in favour of exploring the broad context of the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people and how this may impact their health journey “

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew

The Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status (Overview) aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Download HERE 

Overview+of+Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+health+status+2019

The annual Overview contains updated information across many health conditions.

It shows there has been a range of positive signs including a decrease in death rates, infant mortality rates and a decline in death rates from avoidable causes as well as a reduction in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who smoke.

It has also been found that fewer mothers are smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy meaning that babies have a better start to life.

The initial sections of the Overview provide information about:

  • the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • social determinants including education, employment and income
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • measures of population health status including births, mortality and hospitalisation.

The remaining sections are about selected health conditions and risk and protective factors that contribute to the overall health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

These sections include an introduction and evidence of the extent of the condition or risk/protective factor. Information is provided for state and territories and for demographics such as sex and age when it is available and appropriate.

The Overview is a resource relevant for the health workforce, students and others requiring access to up-to-date information about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year, the focus will be mainly on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data and presentation is within the framework of the strength based approach and data sovereignty (where information is available).

As a data driven organisation, the HealthInfoNet has a publicly declared commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to advance our understanding of data sovereignty and governance consistent with the principles and aspirations of the Maiam nayri Wingara Data Sovereignty Collective (https://www.maiamnayriwingara.org).

As we have done in previous years, we continue our strong commitment to developing strengths based approaches to assessing and reporting the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

It is difficult to make comparisons between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non- Indigenous Australian populations without consideration of the cultural and social contexts within which people live their lives.

As in past versions, we still provide information on the cultural context and social determinants for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

However, for the selected health topics and risk/protective factors we have removed many of the comparisons between the two populations and focused on the analysis of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data only.

In an attempt to respond to the challenge issued by Professor Craig Ritchie at the 2019 AIATSIS conference to say more about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ not just the ‘what’ where comparisons are made and if there is evidence available, we have provided a brief explanation for the differences observed.

Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information.

  • In 2019, the estimated Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 847,190.
  • In 2019, NSW had the highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the estimated population was 281,107 people, 33% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population).
  • In 2019, NT had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its population, with 32% of the NT population identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
  • In 2016, around 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people lived in major cities.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is much younger than the non-Indigenous population.

Download the PowerPoint HERE

Overview+of+Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+health+status+2019_+key+facts

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Workforce : @uwanews Five Indigenous women doctors graduate from #WA Uni Dr Tamisha King, Dr Adriane Houghton, Dr Heather Kessaris, Dr Kelly Langford, and Dr Shauna Hill

Five Indigenous women were among 206 students to graduate as doctors at a ceremony held last week in The University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall.

Tamisha King, Adriane Houghton, Heather Kessaris and Kelly Langford were awarded a Doctor of Medicine and Shauna Hill was awarded a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

Dr King, a Karajarri woman from the Kimberley region, completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Kununurra as well as electives in Melbourne and internship preparation in Broome.

Before enrolling in the MD she completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology, and Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, winning several academic awards. She was also an active member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) and WA Medical Students’ Society (WAMSS) Indigenous Representative in 2016. Dr King will start work as an intern at Royal Perth Hospital next month.

Dr Houghton, a Ngarluma Yindjibarndi woman from Port Hedland, completed UWA’s Aboriginal Orientation Course in 2002 through the School of Indigenous Studies and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography. After graduating she worked in labs and chemical analysis for Woodside in Karratha for six years before enrolling in the MD.

Dr Houghton completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Port Hedland and was Rural Health West’s first Aboriginal Ambassador. The single mother with two children aged six and 10 will take up an internship at Royal Perth Hospital next month.

Dr Kessaris, an Alawa and Marra woman from the Northern Territory, completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing and Population Health before enrolling in the MD. Also a member of AIDA, she represented UWA and AIDA at the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress (PRIDoC) in Hawaii this year and was also a WAMSS Indigenous Representative in 2016.

Originally from Cairns in Queensland, Dr Langford graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology and Economics before enrolling in the MD. In 2017 she completed her Rural Clinical School placement in Broome. Dr Langford is a Badjala woman from Fraser Island and Darraba woman from Starcke, Cape York.

The same year she also received the 2017 national LIMElight Award for Excellence in Indigenous Health Education Student Leadership for her contribution to the understanding of Indigenous health education to her peers, promoting rural and remote health careers and advocating for improvements to the health of Indigenous people in rural and remote communities. Dr Langford will start her internship at Fiona Stanley Hospital next month.

Dr Hill, a Yamatji-Noongar woman who was born and raised in Perth, completed UWA’s Aboriginal Orientation Course in 2002 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Political science and International Relations. She took up a graduate position in Canberra before returning to Perth to work for an Aboriginal organisation and a research officer at UWA’s Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health.

Dr Hill then enrolled in the graduate entry Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, also representing UWA and AIDA at PRIDoC in Hawaii this year. The single mother of three children aged 13, 19 and 20 will take up an internship next month at Royal Perth Hospital.

NACCHO Announcement 2020

After 2,800 Aboriginal Health Alerts over 7 and half years from www.nacchocommunique.com NACCHO media will cease publishing from this site as from 31 December 2019 and resume mid January 2020 with posts from www.naccho.org.au

For historical and research purposes all posts 2012-2019 will remain on www.nacchocommunique.com

Your current email subscription will be automatically transferred to our new Aboriginal Health News Alerts Subscriber service that will offer you the options of Daily , Weekly or Monthly alerts

For further info contact Colin Cowell NACCHO Social Media Media Editor

NACCHO Aboriginal Dental Health and Workforce : @IAHA_National Indigenous health professionals welcome three new female Aboriginal dentists graduates : Increasing to 51 the number of Indigenous dentists practising around Australia.

This is a really significant day. We absolutely need more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people becoming dental and other health professionals.

It makes a big difference in how people interact with and access care if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are involved in delivering it.

In September 2018 there were 48 Indigenous dentists across the whole of Australia: about 0.3 per cent of dentists, whereas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up about 3 per cent of the population.

Having three Aboriginal women graduate as dentists on one day from one university is something we’d like to see a lot more of.”

Gari Watson, President of IDAA. See Interviews with graduates Part 2 Below

Picture above caption (L-R): Hira Rind, Patricia Elder and Ashlee Bence.

Watch 2017 NACCHO TV  Interview with Gari Watson

“They are such great role models for Indigenous people and will be working to improve oral health, particularly in regional and remote areas of our state,”

Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education Professor Jill Milroy said it was wonderful to see three Indigenous women graduate from a highly demanding course.

Hira Rind, Patricia Elder and Ashlee Bence were awarded a Doctor of Dental Medicine, boosting the number of Australia’s Indigenous dentists.

We are delighted for the graduates themselves and their achievement. We’re also excited about what it means in terms of increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.

There is a huge need for accessible, affordable, culturally safe and holistic health care services, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who often face major challenges getting the comprehensive care they need.”

IAHA CEO, Donna Murray  : 

Part 1 Three Aboriginal women recently graduated as dentists from the University of Western Australia.

Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia (IDAA) and Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) join in congratulating them on their achievement and welcome them in joining a growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are succeeding to become and practice as highly skilled practitioners.

Dr Tony Bartone, President of the AMA described the situation on the AMAs 2019 Report Card on Indigenous Health “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults have much higher rates of dental disease than their non-Indigenous counterparts across Australia, which can be largely attributed to the social determinants of health. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also less likely to receive the dental care that they need”.

We expect this is also good news for the Western Australian Government, as improving the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people is a priority in the Western Australian Government’s State Oral Health Plan 2016-2020. The Plan notes and seeks to address the situation where Aboriginal people are less likely to receive treatment they need.

The WA Health Aboriginal Workforce Strategy 2014-24 also recognises the importance of addressing service capacity and workforce, stating “More Aboriginal staff are needed to help
address the significant health issues faced by Aboriginal people”.

As with the dental graduates today, we hope to be congratulating many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners in the future. Aboriginal and Torres strait islander
communities need better access to comprehensive healthcare. Good oral health is an essential element of health and well being.

Part 2

Three Indigenous women were among 232 students to graduate at a ceremony last week in The University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall.

Hira Rind, Patricia Elder and Ashlee Bence were awarded a Doctor of Dental Medicine, boosting the number of Australia’s Indigenous dentists by more than six per cent. Indigenous Allied Health Australia data shows there are currently 48 Indigenous dentists practising around Australia.

Dr Rind, a 29-year-old Yamatji woman originally from Mt Magnet but raised in Perth, began her studies at UWA in the Aboriginal Orientation course in 2008 and graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science in 2013. She went on to work in health and study oral health before enrolling in Dental Medicine.

“I’m planning to work in the North West of WA as part of the rural and remote program,” Dr Rind said.

Originally from Northampton, Dr Elder (29) is a Yindjbardni/Yamatji woman who obtained a Bachelor of Nursing from ECU in 2011 and worked as a registered nurse before commencing dentistry at UWA.

“I’m going to work for the State Government’s Dental Health Service as part of the rural and remote program in Kununurra,” she said.

Dr Bence (30) also worked as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse in Melbourne before moving to Perth to study dentistry at UWA.

She’s working for Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Service in Perth as well as in private practice.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Workforce News : Indigenous GP Jacinta Power and @jcu medicine graduate is a “  powerful “ force for @TAIHS__ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health

“I really love women’s health.  I get to see the pregnant women, the new babies and then the child.

There’s a spiritual connection there.  Whatever specialty I chose, it was always going to be something that would help my people, it’s definitely my area”

For Indigenous GP Jacinta Power she loves seeing women through their pregnancies, the birth of their babies and watching their children grow

Download full profile

Jacinta Power A4 Profile

The former JCU medical student Fellowed as a General Practitioner through JCU General Practice Training last year and is working with the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS).

Her goal, to use her skills to better the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Working in the Aboriginal medical service has allowed her to do just that.  A decision validated by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal Elder who helped set up Australia’s first Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney’s Redfern.

“She came into TAIHS and she just broke down crying to see how far we had come.  From the early days when she was trying to set up the first service to being at TAIHS and to be seen by an Indigenous doctor was amazing.

“To her, that was the goal.  To get to the stage where we could be looking after our own mob.  That was a really special moment.”

Growing up on a farm in rural north Queensland Dr Power always wanted to work in health.  A desire driven by the loss of her brother to cancer as a child.

But as a shy teenager, she lacked the confidence to aim for medicine.  It wasn’t until she read the story of the inspirational African American neurosurgeon, Ben Carson that she felt she too could try for medicine.

Yet she still doubted her own ability.

“I honestly thought I couldn’t do it.  I graduated from a high school in a small rural town.  I think I was the first to go into medicine.”

Despite her misgivings, Dr Power secured a place in the JCU medicine degree, attracted to the program for its focus on rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“I loved the fact that right from second year you went out into rural towns and learnt from doctors in those areas.  They’re very inspiring, their level of enthusiasm and knowledge is amazing.  It takes a lot to be a doctor in a rural town.  It’s really inspiring for students to learn in those settings.”

Dr Power believes the rural training gives students an edge going into their intern year.

“You learn a lot of skills in rural placements.  You certainly go into that year knowing you have a good set of skills.”

Having completed her GP training in rural and regional north Queensland, Dr Power is now giving back as a Cultural Mentor for current registrars.

“Having a cultural mentor gives registrars a support person.  If you come from a completely different cultural background you might not know certain practices and you might not understand why a patient acts in a particular way.  If they have a person they can ask and debrief with, it provides a more positive experience.”

“Each community is very different and having a cultural mentor in each of those places is definitely necessary.  It creates more support for registrars.”

While Dr Power is enjoying her general practice work, long term she’d like to focus on preventative health, which she sees as key to tackling chronic disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I chose general practice because you are working in the community. I’d like to take it that step further and get involved outside the clinic as well.  To work on the root causes of the problems and so much of that is good nutrition.”

Eventually she’d like that to include a return to her farming roots and community food production, providing both employment and the foundations of good health.

But for now, she delights in her general practice.  In the mums she helps, the children she treats and the new lives she gets to meet.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Job alerts at many of our 302 ACCHO #NSW CEO Tobwabba ACCHO #Doctor South Coast Medical #NT @CAACongress #VIC Rumbalara AMS #QLD @IUIH_ #SA #WA #TAS #ACT Plus Stakeholders @IAHA_National @sahmriAU

Before completing a job application please check with the ACCHO that the job is still open

1.1 This weeks feature article : 

Applications for 2020 RVTS intake Close 11 November 

1.2 TOP 10 Jobs

2.Queensland

    2.1 Apunipima ACCHO Cape York

    2.2 IUIH ACCHO Deadly Choices Brisbane and throughout Queensland

    2.3 ATSICHS ACCHO Brisbane

    2.4 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO CAIRNS

3.NT Jobs Alice Spring ,Darwin East Arnhem Land and Katherine

   3.1 Congress ACCHO Alice Spring

   3.2 Miwatj Health ACCHO Arnhem Land

   3.3 Wurli ACCHO Katherine

   3.4 Sunrise ACCHO Katherine

4. South Australia

4.1 Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

5. Western Australia

  5.1 Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc

  5.2 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

  5.3 Bega Garnbirringu Health Services (Bega) WA

6.Victoria

6.1 Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

6.2 Mallee District Aboriginal Services Mildura Swan Hill Etc 

6.3 : Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative 

7.New South Wales

7.1 AHMRC Sydney and Rural 

7.2 Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service 

7.3 Katungul ACCHO 

8. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre ACCHO 

9.Canberra ACT Winnunga ACCHO

Over 302 ACCHO clinics See all websites by state territory 

NACCHO Affiliate , Member , Government Department or stakeholders

If you have a job vacancy in Indigenous Health 

Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media

Tuesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Wednesday

This weeks feature Applications for 2020 RVTS intake Close 11 November 

Round Three applications for the 2020 intake of the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) are now open and close on 11 November 2019.

RVTS is a three to four-year vocational training program for medical practitioners in rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout Australia.

The training program is delivered via structured distance education and supervision and meets the requirements for fellowship of both ACRRM and RACGP.

CEO Dr Pat Giddings said the purpose of the program is to retain doctors in their communities while they are training.

“We pride ourselves in facilitating access to quality vocational training by all doctors across Australia, irrespective of their geographical location, as well as contributing to the retention of rural and remote doctors, and improving the quality of services available to rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” he said.

“Since RVTS’ inception in 2000, more than 270 rural communities have benefitted as doctors have been able to complete their training while continuing to provide general medical services in their communities.”

Dr Giddings said the RVTS program was renowned for its high-quality training and support, with 97 per cent of its registrars last year saying they feel well supported by RVTS.

Other benefits of RVTS are that is tt is fully supervised and supported, with dedicated Registrar Training Co-ordinator (RTC), Medical Educator (ME) Mentor and Supervisor and offers high quality training, which includes weekly webinars, face-to-face workshops, exam support, clinical teaching visits and online resources and forums.

Dr Giddings said the program specifically targets doctors working where limited support is available.

“Registrars stay in their community throughout their training and are linked into a nationwide network of medical educators, supervisors and fellow registrars,” he said.

“There are significant benefits to the doctors, who get to stay in the one place while they do their training, while the community also reaps the benefit from having a skilled doctor in areas where traditionally it might be hard to retain or attract doctors.”

RVTS is fully funded by the Australian Government. Further information and the complete eligibility criteria are available at www.rvts.org.au or by contacting (02) 6057 3400.

Job Ref: 2019 -201

ACCHO : Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service

Position: Chief Executive Officer

Location: Foster NSW

Salary Package: $120,000 plus

Closing Date: 30 November

More Info apply

Job Ref: 2019 -202

ACCHO : Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative

Position: Team Leader – Empowered Women, Children and Families

Location: Mooroopna

Salary Package: On application

Closing Date: 15 November

More Info apply 

Job Ref: 2019 -203

ACCHO Stakeholder : South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI),

Position::Senior Projects Officer Aboriginal Chronic Disease Project

Location: Adelaide SA

Salary Package: On APPLICATION

Closing Date: 14 November

More Info apply:

Job Ref: 2019 -180

ACCHO Member: South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation.

Position: Medical Practitioner

Location: Nowra NSW

Salary Package: On Application

Closing Date: 10 November  

More Info apply:

Job Ref: 2019 -181

ACCHO Member: Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation

Position: Aboriginal Health Worker

Location: Tweed Head South Clinic

Salary Package: On Application

Closing Date: 8 November

More Info apply: hr@bnmac.com.au

Job Ref: 2019 -184

ACCHO Member: Wurli Wurlinjang Aborignal Health Service (Wurli)

Position: General Practioner

Location: Katherine NT

Salary Package: On application

Closing Date: On application

More Info apply:

Job Ref : 2019 -204

ACCHO Stakeholder : IAHA

Position: Senior Policy and Research officer

Location: Canberra

Salary Package: Approx $95,000

Closing Date: 14 November

More Info apply:

Job Ref: 2019 -205

ACCHO Stakeholder : Newcastle Uni- SistaQuit

Position: Aboriginal Research Assistant and Cultural Liaison Officer (4049)

Location: Coffs Harbour

Salary Package: $85,000 Plus

Closing Date: 10 November

More Info apply:

2.1 JOBS AT Apunipima ACCHO Cairns and Cape York

The links to  job vacancies are on website


www.apunipima.org.au/work-for-us

2.2 JOBS AT IUIH Brisbane and throughout Queensland

JOBS AT IUIH check the closing dates as some may have closed

2.3 ATSICHS ACCHO Brisbane

As part of our commitment to providing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Brisbane with a comprehensive range of primary health care, youth, child safety, mental health, dental and aged care services, we employ approximately 150 people across our locations at Woolloongabba, Woodridge, Northgate, Acacia Ridge, Browns Plains, Eagleby and East Brisbane.

The roles at ATSICHS are diverse and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Transport Drivers
  • Medical Receptionists
  • Administrative and Management roles
  • Medical professionals
  • Dentists and Dental Assistants
  • Allied Health Staff
  • Support Workers

Current vacancies

2.4 Wuchopperen Health Service ACCHO CAIRNS 

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited has been providing primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for over 35 years. Our workforce has a range of professional, clinical, allied health, social emotional wellbeing and administration positions.

  • We have two sites in Cairns and a growing number of supplementary services and partnerships.
  • We have a diverse workforce of over 200 employees
  • 70 percent of our team identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

Our team is dedicated to the Wuchopperen vision: Improving the Quality of Life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. If you would like to make a difference, and improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, please apply today.

Expressions of Interest

We invite Expressions of Interest from:

  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Dietitians
  • Diabetes Educators
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • Medical Officers (FAACGP / FACCRM)
  • Registered Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech Pathologists

In accordance with Wuchopperen’s privacy processes, we will keep your EOI on file for three months.

 Current Vacancies

NT Jobs Alice Spring ,Darwin East Arnhem Land and Katherine

3.1 JOBS at Congress Alice Springs including

Want to work for Congress?

There are a range of job opportunities available right now, including:

• Governance Support Officer
• Aboriginal Liaison Officer
• Health Information Officer
• Transport Officer- Casual
• Care Coordinator- Chronic Disease
• Lead Aboriginal Cultural Advisor
• Remote SEWB Caseworker
• Child Psychologist/ Clinical Psychologist
• Alukura Midwife
• Early Childhood Educators
• Cleaners
• GPs – Town and Remote

Apply now at www.caac.org.au/hr

More info and apply HERE

3.2 There are 20 + JOBS at Miwatj Health Arnhem Land

  We’re one of Australia’s largest providers of Aboriginal healthcare

We’re engaging with health issues at a grass roots community level:  We’re looking for passionate individuals who are ready to help change the future for Aboriginal healthcare

Updated 23 Sept Website HERE

3.3  JOBS at Wurli Katherine

More info and apply HERE

3.4 Sunrise ACCHO Katherine

Sunrise Job site

4. South Australia

   4.1 Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc

Nunkuwarrin Yunti places a strong focus on a client centred approach to the delivery of services and a collaborative working culture to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. View our current vacancies here.

NUNKU SA JOB WEBSITE 

5. Western Australia

5.1 Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc. is passionate about creating a strong and dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander workforce. We are committed to providing mentorship and training to our team members to enhance their skills for them to be able to create career pathways and opportunities in life.

On occasions we may have vacancies for the positions listed below:

  • Medical Receptionists – casual pool
  • Transport Drivers – casual pool
  • General Hands – casual pool, rotating shifts
  • Aboriginal Health Workers (Cert IV in Primary Health) –casual pool

*These positions are based in one or all of our sites – East Perth, Midland, Maddington, Mirrabooka or Bayswater.

To apply for a position with us, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Detailed CV
  • WA National Police Clearance – no older than 6 months
  • WA Driver’s License – full license
  • Contact details of 2 work related referees
  • Copies of all relevant certificates and qualifications

We may also accept Expression of Interests for other medical related positions which form part of our services. However please note, due to the volume on interests we may not be able to respond to all applications and apologise for that in advance.

All complete applications must be submitted to our HR department or emailed to HR

Also in accordance with updated privacy legislation acts, please download, complete and return this Permission to Retain Resume form

Attn: Human Resources
Derbarl Yerrigan Health Services Inc.
156 Wittenoom Street
East Perth WA 6004

+61 (8) 9421 3888

 

DYHS JOB WEBSITE

 5.2 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS)

https://kamsc-iframe.applynow.net.au/

KAMS JOB WEBSITE

 5.3 Bega Garnbirringu Health Services (Bega) WA 

Are you a dynamic team member who thrives on a challenge, loves working with people and has a genuine passion for client service delivery? A team player who appreciates the value of an energetic team environment and respects cultural diversity?

Bega Garnbirringu Health Services (Bega) is currently seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and committed applicants.

If you have any questions please contact Human Resources on (08) 9022 5591 or email recruitment@bega.org.au

  • Senior Medical Officer
  • Counsellor, Social Worker
  • Speech Therapist (EOI)
  • Occupational Therapist (EOI)
  • Physiotherapist (EOI)
  • Youth Worker (Female)
  • Manager Social Support
  • Child Health Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Enrolled/Registered Nurse

6.Victoria

6.1 Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

 

Thank you for your interest in working at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS)

If you would like to lodge an expression of interest or to apply for any of our jobs advertised at VAHS we have two types of applications for you to consider.

Expression of interest

Submit an expression of interest for a position that may become available to: employment@vahs.org.au

This should include a covering letter outlining your job interest(s), an up to date resume and two current employment referees

Your details will remain on file for a period of 12 months. Resumes on file are referred to from time to time as positions arise with VAHS and you may be contacted if another job matches your skills, experience and/or qualifications. Expressions of interest are destroyed in a confidential manner after 12 months.

Applying for a Current Vacancy

Unless the advertisement specifies otherwise, please follow the directions below when applying

Your application/cover letter should include:

  • Current name, address and contact details
  • A brief discussion on why you feel you would be the appropriate candidate for the position
  • Response to the key selection criteria should be included – discussing how you meet these

Your Resume should include:

  • Current name, address and contact details
  • Summary of your career showing how you have progressed to where you are today. Most recent employment should be first. For each job that you have been employed in state the Job Title, the Employer, dates of employment, your duties and responsibilities and a brief summary of your achievements in the role
  • Education, include TAFE or University studies completed and the dates. Give details of any subjects studies that you believe give you skills relevant to the position applied for
  • References, where possible, please include 2 employment-related references and one personal character reference. Employment references must not be from colleagues, but from supervisors or managers that had direct responsibility of your position.

Ensure that any referees on your resume are aware of this and permission should be granted.

How to apply:

Send your application, response to the key selection criteria and your resume to:

employment@vahs.org.au

All applications must be received by the due date unless the previous extension is granted.

When applying for vacant positions at VAHS, it is important to know the successful applicants are chosen on merit and suitability for the role.

VAHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and are committed to ensuring that staff selection procedures are fair to all applicants regardless of their sex, race, marital status, sexual orientation, religious political affiliations, disability, or any other matter covered by the Equal Opportunity Act

You will be assessed based on a variety of criteria:

  • Your application, which includes your application letter which address the key selection criteria and your resume
  • Verification of education and qualifications
  • An interview (if you are shortlisted for an interview)
  • Discussions with your referees (if you are shortlisted for an interview)
  • You must have the right to live and work in Australia
  • Employment is conditional upon the receipt of:
    • A current Working with Children Check
    • A current National Police Check
    • Any licenses, certificates and insurances

6.2 Mallee District Aboriginal Services Mildura Swan Hill Etc 

 

MDAS Jobs website 

6.3 : Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative 2 POSITIONS VACANT

.

http://www.rumbalara.org.au/vacancies

 

7.1 AHMRC Sydney and Rural 

 

Check website for current Opportunities

7.2 Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service 

Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service (GWAHS) is an entity of Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service. GWAHS provides a culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care service for the local Aboriginal communities of western Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains. GWAHS provides multidisciplinary services from sites located in Mt Druitt and Penrith.

The clinical service model includes general practitioners (GPs), Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners, nursing staff, reception and transport staff. The service also offers a number of wraparound services and programs focused on child and maternal health, social and emotional wellbeing, Drug and Alcohol Support, chronic disease, as well as population health activities.

GWAHS is committed to ensuring that patients have access to and receive high quality, culturally appropriate care and services that meet the needs of local Aboriginal communities.

WEBSITE

7.3 Katungul ACCHO

Download position descriptions HERE 

8. Tasmania

 

TAC JOBS AND TRAINING WEBSITE

9.Canberra ACT Winnunga ACCHO

 

Winnunga ACCHO Job opportunites

Aboriginal #Rural and #Remote Health #ClosingTheGap #HaveYourSayCTG : New @AIHW Report says the mob living in remote and regional areas are dying preventable deaths from treatable conditions because of a lack of access to health services

 “Australians living in remote and regional areas are dying preventable deaths from treatable conditions because of a lack of access to health services.

The damning assessment is contained in a new Australian Institut­e of Health and Welfare report on rural and remote health, which finds that those in the bush rely heavily on general practitioners to provide primary healthcare services in the absence of specialist doctors.

But patients most in need of GPs often can’t access them, with those in remote areas six times as likely as those in metropolitan centres to report they had no access­ to one.”

From Natasha Robinson The Australian October 24 Continued Part 1 below

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to have higher rates of chronic conditions, hospitalisations and poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians

The differences in health outcomes in Remote and Very remote areas may be due to the characteristics of these populations.

The proportion of the population that is Indigenous, is much higher in more remote areas

However, more Indigenous Australians live in Major cities and Inner regional areas (61% of Indigenous Australians) compared with Remote and Very remote areas (19%) “

From the AIHW Report see Part 2 Below

Download full report HERE

Rural & remote health

Part 1 The Australian media report 

The report comes as The Australian revealed yesterday that the numbers of domestically trained doctors entering GP training had fallen for the third year in a row, with rural areas relying heavily on overseas-trained doctors to fill the workforce shortfall.

The AIHW report finds people in remote areas die five years before­ their city counterparts, with a life expectancy of 76 years.

More than 70 per cent of those living in regional areas are overweight or obese, less than one in 10 eat the recommended number of serves of vegetables per day, and one-quarter have high blood pressure or mental health problems.

Rural Australians are dying of diabetes at much higher rates than city dwellers, and many cancers­ go undetected because of a lack of acces­s to screening programs.

“The rate of potentially avoidable deaths increased as remote­ness increased,” the report says. “These are deaths among people aged 75 and under from conditions considered potentially preventable through individualised care, and/or treatment through existing primary or hospital care.”

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine said the situation was a “tragedy”.

“We have a rural health crisis that extends right across from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island­er people to our rural communities,” said college president Ewen McPhee.

“I think it’s a tragedy that rural communities continue to be neglec­ted.”

In many tiny towns across the country, residents rely on the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide access to a GP.

Yesterday in Stonehenge in remote­ central Queensland, doctor­ Arthur Beggs and nurse Jo Mahony­ flew in to provide the fortnightly mobile GP service for the town and surrounding areas of about 50 people.

“A lot of people don’t want to bother us unless they are really unwell and that’s really typical of the stoic, outback approach,” Dr Beggs said.

The RFDS has introduced a chronic disease management plan to the town, tracking baseline health measurements and flying specialist allied health practitioners in every few weeks to provide extra services.

Dr Beggs knows the challenges of being a rural GP, but says the difficulties are outweighed by the satisfaction of the work.

“I find rural and remote medicine fascinating and much more fulfilling than I do city-based medicine,” he said.

A recent report published by the Medical Deans of Australia found only 15 per cent of medical students in their final year of study said they were interested in becomin­g GPs, the lowest figure in five years.

Dr Beggs said attracting GPs to rural and remote areas was key to improving health outcomes in the bush.

“Modern medicine is all about specialties,” he said.

“The specialties can seem a more lucrative and controlled environm­ent than the realms of general practice, which is unfortun­ate because general practice­ gives you a much better overview of people and their health.”

Part 2

Profile of rural and remote Australians

See AIHW Online version HERE

For more information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by remoteness see: The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 2015 and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF) report

Overall, more Australians live in Major cities compared with rural and remote areas

. In 2017, the proportion of Australians by area of remoteness was:

72% in Major cities

18% in Inner regional areas 8.2% in Outer regional areas 1.2% in Remote areas

0.8% in Very remote areas (ABS 2019b).

On average, people living in Remote and very remote areas were younger than those living in Major cities ( gures 1a and 1c).

Australians aged 25–44 were more likely to live in Remote and very remote areas and Major cities compared with Inner regional and outer regional areas. However, a higher proportion of people aged 65 and over lived in Inner regional and outer regional areas and Major cities, compared with Remote and very remote areas ( gures 1a, 1b and 1c).

Rural and remote Australia encompasses many diverse locations and communities and people living in these areas face unique challenges due to their geographic isolation.

Those living outside metropolitan areas often have poorer health outcomes compared with those living in metropolitan areas. For example, data show that people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, mortality, injury and poorer access to, and use of, primary health care services, compared with those living in metropolitan areas.

Health inequalities in rural and remote areas may be due to factors, including:

  • challenges in accessing health care or health professionals, such as specialists social determinants such as income, education and employment opportunities higher rates of risky behaviours such as tobacco smoking and alcohol use
  • higher rates of occupational and physical risk, for example from farming or mining work and transport-related accidents.

Despite poorer health outcomes for some, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey found that Australians living in small towns (fewer than 1,000 people) and non-urban areas generally experienced higher levels of life satisfaction compared with those in urban areas (Wilkins 2015).

Rural and remote Australians also report increased community interconnectedness and social cohesion, as well as higher levels of community participation, volunteering and informal support from their communities (Ziersch et al. 2009).

Part 3 National : Closing the Gap / Have your say CTG deadline extended to Friday, 8 November 2019.

 

The engagements are now in full swing across Australia and this is generating more interest than we had anticipated in our survey on Closing the Gap.

The Coalition of Peaks has had requests from a number of organisations across Australia seeking, some Coalition of Peak members and some governments for more time to promote and complete the survey.

We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on what should be included in a new agreement on Closing the Gap so it is agreed to extend the deadline for the survey to Friday, 8 November 2019.

This will help build further understanding and support for the new agreement and will not impact our timeframes for negotiating with government as we were advised at the most recent Partnership Working Group meeting that COAG will not meet until early 2020.

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. It would be great if you can answer all the questions, but you can also just focus on the issues that you care about most.

To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here

The survey is open to everyone and can be accessed here:

https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/coalition-of-peaks/have-your-say/

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Workers News @NATSIHWA  #2019Footprints : In remote communities, where more health workers are needed, #chronicdisease is rising

 In Barunga NT where high-risk pregnancies are on the rise, Aboriginal health practitioners (AHPs) like Desleigh Shields are in high demand.

Acting as a translator between doctor and patient and using her hard-earned medical training and insights from growing up on country, Ms Shields is at the forefront of an immense health battle gripping Aboriginal communities.

That battle is chronic disease, and in communities like Barunga, AHPs of Ms Shields’s calibre are critical to the cause.

Ms Shields has taken up the fight with her mother, Joanne Berry, (pictured below ) who has been an AHP in Barunga for over 30 years.

But as Ms Berry has witnessed pregnancies become increasingly complicated due to chronic disease in the town, she says she is still seeing women miss vital scans during pregnancy. “

Read over 170 Aboriginal Workforce Articles published by NACCHO over past 7 years 

This article originally published ABC Website 

Key points:

  • There has been a 52 per cent increase in young Aboriginal people with gestational and pre-existing diabetes in the NT over the last four years
  • Aboriginal women are three times less likely to go to a clinic for their first antenatal visit to detect diseases
  • Medical professionals say Indigenous healthcare workers are key to helping pregnant women attend clinics for their scans

Concerningly for AHPs like Ms Shields and Ms Berry, cultural stigmas attached to health clinics can often lead to women missing such scans.

“For teenagers, sometimes it’s a shame job, ashamed of coming to the clinic,” Ms Berry said.

According to a Menzies School of Health Research study in 2018, Aboriginal women in the Territory are three times less likely to go to a clinic for their first antenatal visit before the required 14-week mark to detect diseases like diabetes.

But without more AHPs providing comfort, communication and expertise in Aboriginal communities, professionals like Ms Berry and Ms Shields remain undermanned in their fight.

Aboriginal Health Workers and the link to healthy communities

On the ground in Barunga, front-line health professionals are lamenting a lack of funding and support for AHPs, who face critical barriers such as a lack of housing and professional development opportunities.

Some professionals are even linking the lack of housing options for AHPs directly to health outcomes for pregnant women in communities.

Bill Palmer, the acting chief executive of Sunrise Health, which runs Barunga’s health clinic, said many AHPs want to upskill, but “the pathways to having that happen are not clear”.

Mr Palmer said AHPs were not afforded the same provisions as police officers or doctors, and therefore struggle with accommodation when working in remote locations.

But the work of AHPs like Ms Shields and Ms Berry has not gone unrewarded.

According to Menzies Health, there was a significant improvement in antenatal visits during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy among Aboriginal women — from 36 per cent to 50 per cent — between 2001 and 2012.

Communities losing their loved ones

The rise of intergenerational type 2 diabates in Aboriginal communities presents a daunting challenge for AHPs.

In the town of Ampilatwatja, about 320 kilometres north of Alice Springs, 50 per cent of the community’s population of 500 are estimated to have diabetes.

PHOTO: In Ampilatwatja, patients like Rhonda Holmes are depending on an increase of medical services. (ABC News: Chris Kimball)

The malignant form of type 2 diabetes prevalent in the town can lead to amputated limbs, poor life expectancy and end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis.

The community’s battle is an example of what Menzies Health diabetes researcher Louise Maple-Brown says is a growing problem in the Northern Territory.

Professor Maple-Brown, who is also the head of Royal Darwin Hospital’s endocrinology department, said one in five Aboriginal women in the Territory have gestational or pre-existing type 2 diabetes during pregnancy.

“Those [type 2] rates were 10 times higher in Aboriginal women than non-Aboriginal women in the Territory in 2016,” Professor Maple-Brown said.

She said intergenerational diabetes was on the rise because a mother’s in-utero environment contributed to a higher risk of obesity or diabetes in their baby, which led to early onset of the disease as the child grew up.

If that child is a female, she’ll then carry that diabetes during her own pregnancy and pass on the same risks, Professor Maple-Brown said.

What is type 2 diabetes?

  • It occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or is ineffective
  • 90 per cent of diabetics have type 2
  • It is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors
  • There is no cure but it can be managed through medication and treatment
  • It usually affects adults but there’s been a rise in cases in children
  • The condition can lead to cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and foot neuropathy
  • Type 2 diabetes can double the risk of death

For more information visit the Diabetes Australia website

“In the last four years in the Northern Territory we’ve seen a 52 per cent increase in young Aboriginal people with diabetes in the age group of 15 to 25 years,” she said.

“So we’re particularly focusing on working with that group to improve care,” she said.

Professor Maple-Brown said AHPs were critical to improving care through ensuring pregnant women attend clinics for their scans.

“Strengthening the Aboriginal community-based workforce is a key priority for many health services in the Northern Territory,” she said.