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.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health @AIDAAustralia News : The @AMAPresident Dr Tony Bartone speech opening #AIDAConf2019 : We must use collective wisdom and advocacy to ensure that #ClosingtheGap is not just words, but a meaningful and deliverable target. #HaveYourSayCTG

 

 “ The basic principles of successful Indigenous healthcare models should be better promoted as exemplars and replicated across the country.

This will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to translate their knowledge into innovative practices that will help solve intractable health problems in their communities.

Governments at all levels must ensure that policy frameworks move towards harmonisation with norms recognising the autonomy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Governments must ensure that these frameworks are bolstered with adequate funding and workforce strategies to enable Indigenous communities to succeed in their pursuit of the right to health and wellbeing.

With the right support, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people stand to address health inequities by transforming services under their purview, as well as health services provided to Indigenous people by the mainstream.

As President of the AMA, I will continue to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a key priority.”

President of the AMA Dr Tony Bartone opening speech

Photo above : Opening of #AIDAConf2019 a Welcome to Country from Larrakia Dr Jessica King. MC Jeff McMullen, keynotes  AIDA President Dr Kris Rallah-Baker, NLC CEO Marion Scrymgour, Danila Dilba ACCHO Olga Havnen, Dr Tony Bartone

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet today, and I pay my respects to their elders, past and present.

Thank you to the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) for inviting me to speak at your annual conference. This is my third year attending, and I feel very privileged to be here.

The theme for this year’s Conference is ‘Disruptive Innovations in Health Care’.

As a General Practitioner who has been practising medicine for over 30 years, I well and truly understand that innovative health care is needed to achieve improved outcomes for patients.

Indeed, innovation will be crucial as we deal with a health system that is so under strain.

This is especially true for Indigenous health, given the much higher burden of disease and mortality rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the need for care to be delivered in a manner that is culturally safe.

We all know that Indigenous health statistics paint a bleak picture.

And we all know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer health than other Australians.

Medical science is constantly evolving and we have, only in recent times, recognised the innovations and practices of Indigenous people here and overseas.

There are some parallels and similarities in the way Australia and Canada – both former British colonies – are trying to improve health care for First Nations peoples.

In both countries, we are trying to address a legacy of harm from the imposition of policies that resulted in poor health today.

Sadly, investments in Indigenous health are often inadequate, and they are implemented without proper engagement with, and direction by, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We all know that this approach does not work.

However, I know that there are many innovative health services that are delivering high quality health care for their communities, driven by local leadership.

There are models of health care that are delivering proved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and these should be supported in terms of funding and workforce.

I was fortunate to visit one such model last year and see first-hand just one example of quality health services and witness the important work that they do.

There are others all underpinned by community oversight and direction. This sense of community leadership is a key feature.

I am sure you will hear of many more positive and innovative healthcare models throughout this Conference.

The problem with such models is that they are not being sufficiently resourced and funded to continue and further their development.

The basic principles of successful Indigenous healthcare models should be better promoted as exemplars and replicated across the country.

This will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to translate their knowledge into innovative practices that will help solve intractable health problems in their communities.

Governments at all levels must ensure that policy frameworks move towards harmonisation with norms recognising the autonomy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Governments must ensure that these frameworks are bolstered with adequate funding and workforce strategies to enable Indigenous communities to succeed in their pursuit of the right to health and wellbeing.

With the right support, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people stand to address health inequities by transforming services under their purview, as well as health services provided to Indigenous people by the mainstream.

As President of the AMA, I will continue to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is a key priority.

I am very proud to lead an organisation that champions Aboriginal and Torres Strait health care.

This is demonstrated through:

  • the AMA’s Taskforce on Indigenous Health, which I am honoured to Chair;
  • having AIDA represented on the AMA’s Federal Council;
  • producing an annual Report Card on Indigenous Health;
  • supporting more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become doctors through our Indigenous Medical Scholarship initiative;
  • participation in the Close the Gap Steering Committee; and
  • participation in the END Rheumatic Heart Disease Coalition, among many other things.

 See all NACCHO and AMA Articles HERE 

The AMA also supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and is encouraging the Australian Parliament to make this a national priority.

I firmly believe that giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say in the decisions that affect their lives will allow for healing through recognition of past and current injustices.

The AMA believes respecting the decisions and directions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should underpin all Government endeavours to close the health and life expectancy gap.

The AMA is pleased to see the agreement between the Council of Australian Governments and a Coalition of Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations – an historic partnership to oversee the refresh of the Closing the Gap strategy.

See Coalition of Peaks Press Release this week

But this is not enough.

We must use this collective wisdom and advocacy to ensure that Closing the Gap is not just words, but a meaningful and deliverable target.

This is certainly an innovative approach to improving health and life outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Since the beginning of the Closing the Gap strategy, progress has been mixed, limited, and, overall, disappointing.

This must change. It has to change.

It is simply unacceptable that year in, year out, we see the same gaps and the same shortfalls in funding and resources.

I hope that the partnership between COAG and the Coalition of Peaks will result in some real, meaningful change. It must.

Governments cannot keep promising to improve health and other services and not deliver on their commitments.

The AMA welcomed the stated intent of the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, to hold a referendum on Constitutional recognition for Indigenous peoples.

And I was disappointed by his recent announcement that an Indigenous voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution would not be included as part of this process.

Ken Wyatt has achieved a tremendous amount in his time as Minister, and I hope that Constitutional recognition is part of his legacy.

Let me conclude by saying that it is our responsibility as doctors to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can enjoy the same level of good health as their non-Indigenous peers – that they are able to live their lives to the fullest.

The AMA recognises that Indigenous doctors are critical to making real change in Indigenous health, as they have the unique ability to align their clinical and cultural expertise to improve access to services and provide culturally safe care.

The Indigenous medical workforce is steadily growing, but we need more Indigenous doctors. And dentists, nurses, social workers, and all other allied health specialists.

The AMA remains committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advocate for better Government investment and cohesive, coordinated strategies to improve health outcomes.

Thank you, and I wish you the very best for your Conference.

 Part 2  Have your say about what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people #HaveYourSay about #closingthegap

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 and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce : Donnella Mills @NACCHOChair Keynote Address at #CATSINaM19 Building a workforce and embedding #CulturalSafety : Connecting care through culture

” I’m keen to hear your ideas on how we can cooperate across the sector to develop a better workforce with cultural safety embedded throughout the hundreds of clinics and hospitals across the country.

I was impressed by the theme you chose for your conference: ‘connecting care through culture’. That simple phrase captures so much of what we do in our sector each and every day.

Cultural safety, I believe, is what makes us unique and what represents our greatest strength.

In the Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations – the ACCHOs – you have this reinforced through the operating model.

Community control’ is not just a term – it is a 48-year-old model – forged at Redern in 1971 – and now exercised in 144 local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country.” 

Donnella Mills Acting Chair, NACCHO Keynote address at the CATSINaM National Professional Development Conference Sydney 26 September 

I would like to acknowledge that this conference is being held on Aboriginal land. I recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation who are the traditional custodians of this place we now call Sydney. I pay my respects to their elders.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir. I am the Acting Chair of NACCHO, which stands for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

I thank the CATSINaM Board for inviting me to deliver this address. It is a privilege to be talking with you today and a special pleasure to be among so many hard-working and dedicated healthcare professionals.

Without you, the Health gap would be so much wider than it is now. Without you, there would be little cultural safety in our hospitals and medical services. I have seen how important your work is on the ground at Wuchopperen and in the other services I have visited. You are the backbone of Aboriginal health.

I plan to speak for about 25 minutes. That will leave us about 20 minutes for yarning at the end. I’m keen to hear your ideas on how we can cooperate across the sector to develop a better workforce with cultural safety embedded throughout the hundreds of clinics and hospitals across the country.

Community control

Our people trust us with their health. We build ongoing relationships to give continuity of care so that chronic conditions are managed and preventative health care is effectively targeted.

Studies have shown that Aboriginal controlled health services are 23% better at attracting and retaining Aboriginal clients than mainstream providers.

Through local engagement and a proven service delivery model, our clients ‘stick’. The cultural safety in which we provide our services is a key factor of our success. In this way, ACCHOs are already ‘leading the way’.

We also build partnerships that make things work. Leadership is not all about the strength to stand up on your own, it is about being smart enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one another. It is about galvanising support on the ground. It is about forging alliances in the sector and building strategic partnerships at the national level.

Employment

Another strength – one that we tend to overlook – is the sheer size of our sector. Let’s have a look at the ACCHO part of it alone. It is not widely known, but the 144 ACCHOs, collectively, are the single largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. That means that one in every 44 Indigenous jobs in Australia is at one of our health services.

If we add the Aboriginal health workers in the mainstream and the rest of the sector, these numbers become all the more impressive.

Our sector is doing more to close the employment gap than any of the employment measures dreamed up by Government agencies.

If the Government really wants to get people off welfare, don’t punish vulnerable people with cashless welfare cards, robo-debts or by sending them off to meaningless Work for the Dole activities.

Work with our sector and grow the Aboriginal workforce together. We have real jobs located in real communities. That is where the investment needs to go.

We should remind our politicians of this when they visit us.

They may see a small clinic somewhere with a few staff, but if they understood that we are part of a huge national network of Aboriginal professionals, they might take more notice of us and realise what we have to offer.

Comprehensive primary health care

Another challenge for us is continuing the development of a comprehensive primary health care model. I think we have been hearing this since the release of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy way back in 1989.

Twenty-one years later, a study concluded that ACCHOs are one of a very few settings where ‘comprehensive primary health care’ is delivered. If we keep offering a comprehensive approach for primary health care across the nation, our people will be much less likely to fall between the cracks.

We can do this through colocation of services or forming partnerships at the local level. This can include clinical care, immunisation and environmental health programs, on-site pharmaceutical dispensing and partnerships with family violence, child protection counselling and legal services.

We can also develop links with sports programs, homelessness services, dental services, aged care and disability support. None of these elements can fully succeed when they stand alone. The voluminous literature on the social determinants of health tell us that. But more importantly, it is what we all know from our own personal experiences.

You don’t need an academic to tell you that comprehensive primary health care is the best approach. We all know this intuitively and from our experiences on the ground.

I am not saying that we should all diversify or ‘dilute’ what we are doing. What I am saying is that while we focus on our core activities, we should also be taking every opportunity we can to link up with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and programs in complementary areas.

From my own experience ….

When you think about it, it should not be hard to promote ourselves; to sell ourselves to a new Government. After all, we provide value for money. ACCHOs result in greater health benefits per dollar spent; measured at a value of $1.19 for every $1 spent.

Studies have also shown that the lifetime health impact of interventions delivered by ACCHOs is 50% greater than if these same interventions were delivered by mainstream health services. This is primarily due to improved Aboriginal access and outcomes.

I don’t need to tell you that we also have some pretty significant challenges ahead of us. And I’d like to address these now, one by one.

Remuneration

If we are serious about workforce development, then we cannot ignore the issue of wages. Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I have heard, remuneration is a big issue for nurses and midwives. The ALP, as part of its election platform in May of this year had much to say about improving wages and conditions in the childcare sector, and justifiably so. Childcare is another industry in which women dominate, but are underpaid.

We need the Commonwealth and State Governments to take a similar approach to nurses and midwives. As you all know, women make up almost 90% of all employed nurses and midwives. Representative bodies like NACCHO and CATSINaM need to work together to drive this message home to Governments across the country. Remuneration is an important aspect in attracting and retaining staff.

Vocational development

I think we need to keep improving the career development opportunities and skills acquisition not just for nurses and midwives, but for all Aboriginal health workers. Currently, there is an imbalance in the medical services in which we see more Aboriginal people on the lower levels and amongst the non-clinical staff.

The graph in my presentation shows the situation for ACCHOs. We need more Aboriginal non-clinical staff but we need even more Aboriginal clinical staff.

Recruitment

I see that CATSINaM has a proud record in increasing its membership in recent years. I think you had a record number in your 2018 Annual Report – 1,366 members – representing a jump of 35%. Clearly, you are doing something right to have recruited so many new members.

You must have won the trust of your members to have such a healthy and expanding membership base. With almost half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwifes in Australia as your members, CATSINaM is the key organisation in addressing many of the workforce development issues in our sector.

Certainly, much more needs to be done to develop career pathways to secure more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwifes as well as more doctors and allied health professionals.

Across Australia in 2015 the AIHW reported that there were only about 180 medical practitioners, 750 allied health professionals, and 3,200 nurses (including 230 midwives) who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. For nurses, this represents just over 1% of all employed nurses and midwives Australia-wide.

The Northern Territory (2.4%) and Tasmania (2.2%) had the highest proportion of Aboriginal nurses and midwives, while Victoria had the lowest (0.5%). Compare these figures to our proportion of working-age Australians – close to 3.%. We should have 3% of all nurses and midwives, not 1%.

As I have already said, our sector is the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.

Now, if the ACCHOs as a group employ about 6,000 staff, of which 56 per cent are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, then we still have another 2,500 jobs in our own sector which could be filled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We have a significant opportunity here. Think of what we could do for our people if we filled such a large number of jobs.

Retention

A big challenge that we confront every day – particularly in the bush – is retention. Stress and burnout is a real problem as Fran Baum’s research has shown. Turnover of staff is high and vacancies remain unfilled for longer than we would like.

With so many vacancies, particularly in remote clinics, a concerted effort could also have a significant positive impact on the size and health of our workforce. It is troubling to hear of the high reported vacancy rate of 6% (i.e. about 380 vacancies at any point in time).

Nevertheless, ACCHOs are doing pretty well in comparison with mainstream and non-Aboriginal organisations. The proportion of health vacancies was 6% compared with 9% for other organisations. My guess is that it is cultural safety that explains the advantage here.

So, if we have a good model and we have sector already working hard for Aboriginal health, then how are we going?

Life expectancy target not met

If we look at just one of the ‘Closing the Gap’ targets – life expectancy – you can see how stark the differences are. According to ABS data, which probably overestimate Aboriginal life expectancy, non-Aboriginal Australians can expect to live to about the age of 82. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are lucky to make it to 72. T

hat’s a ten-year difference. We would be better off living in other countries where the life expectancy is higher. Countries – believe it or not – like Bangladesh or Azerbaijan. Life expectancy is longer in some Third World countries than it is for our people.

Funding for Aboriginal health has fallen

Despite all the words we have heard from Commonwealth and State Governments over the years about ‘Closing the Gap’, instead of increasing expenditure, Governments have actually decreased expenditure on Aboriginal health over the past decade.

Governments need to spend two to three times more on Aboriginal health if we are to have a level of funding commensurate with the actual cost of the burden of disease. This is a huge sum – about $1.4 billion per year – on one estimate.

In real terms health expenditure (excluding hospital expenditure) for Aboriginal people fell 2% from $3,840 per person in 2008 to $3,780 per person in 2016. Over the same period, expenditure on non-Aboriginal people rose by 10%. How can you expect to close the gap when you are reducing funding for our people and increasing it for the non-Aboriginal population?

If we act as one, we can turn things around.

Look at the way that the Aboriginal peaks, like NACCHO and CATSINaM, stood together to force the nine Australian governments to restart the Closing the Gap process. Before we came together and complained to them, the consultation process was expensive lip service.

Before we stood together with one voice, our separate voices were ignored. Now they are listening. Now things are back on track.

Funds are tighter than ever to procure, but, over the years, we have built a world class model of health care and there is too much at stake for us now to start drifting backwards now.

The timing is critical, especially now that we have a re-elected Government and the new arrangements in the administration of Aboriginal programs. It is great to see Ken Wyatt as the first Aboriginal Cabinet member as the Minister for Indigenous Australians.

But we need to engage as closely as we can with him and with Minister Hunt. We also need to keep the dialogue open with Senator Dodson, Senator McCarthy and the Member for Barton in NSW, Linda Burney.

There are also plenty of good Aboriginal leaders in the State and Territory Governments and I urge you to keep talking to them. It is important to have our voice heard.

Especially when we face a mainstream system that continues to overlook us; especially when we have a mainstream system that continues to patronise us. If we don’t act now and keep the pressure up, we will lose some of our recent hard-won gains.

The future

Despite the appalling funding neglect for programs and the low wages paid to our health workers, you have shone in adversity. You are resilient. You survive despite whatever circumstances you find yourselves in.

It’s self-determination and the need to control our own health programs that led to the ACCHO model of care in the first place. It is a lesson for our sector.

If the system was working now, we would have zero preventable hospital admissions. The evidence is not just here, it is overseas as well.

In Canada it has been shown that First Nations communities that transitioned from government-control to community-control of health services experienced a 30% reduction in hospitalisation rates compared with communities where government control was maintained.

In a perfect world our model of primary care through community control would also be complete. We would have full coverage across the land.

We would also have an Aboriginal NDIS workforce in fully-funded models for disability services rolled out, Australia-wide.

And of course, all this hinges on a more accountable public health system and an uncapped needs-based funding model. Who knows, if we had all these things, we may even seriously imagine a future in which we have actually closed the health gap.

With Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands I know that we can get there eventually.

NACCHO and CATSINaM can continue to work together and to set the way forward for Aboriginal health.

But we can also show the non-Aboriginal population what is possible. It is this future that I imagine for my daughter and my own family.

I am sure that it is a vision that we all share.

Leading the way for all of Australia through cultural safety and respect.

Have your say about what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people #HaveYourSay about #closingthegap

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/