NACCHO Aboriginal #EarHealth : New annual plan to tackle Indigenous ear disease released

action

Hearing problems can have a major effect on a person’s journey through life and sadly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have one of the highest rates of middle ear disease in the world. This often means they have a conductive hearing loss.

“What is worse is that middleear disease, or otitis media, is most common in the earliest years of a child’s life, when hearing is crucial to development and learning.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick

“Many primary healthcare providers, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health sector and the Royal Flying Doctor Service are strong supporters of Deadly Kids, Deadly Futures 2016-2026 and have committed to undertake a range of activities to strengthen health promotion, prevention and primary healthcare management,” .

“Early management of the disease in the primary health setting, including ensuring ear and hearing health screens are included in all routine child health checks, is the best way to ensure children can hear, talk and learn.”

Matthew Brown, Director of Children’s Health Queensland’s Deadly Ears Program

For the first time in Queensland, the health, education and early childhood sectors will combine in a joint annual plan to fight ear disease and associated hearing loss impacting Indigenous children.

Download Deadly Ears Action Plan here : deadly-kids-action-plan

Queensland’s new 12 month action plan to improve the ear and hearing health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was released today.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the Deadly Kids, Deadly Futures Action Plan 2016-17 was an important step in the Palaszczuk Government’s landmark 10year commitment to closing the gap in health and education outcomes for Indigenous children.

“The Deadly Kids, Deadly Futures: Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Ear and Hearing Health Framework 2016-2026 launched in March 2016 aims to prevent and manage the high rates of middleear disease and associated hearing loss,” Mr Dick said.

“The 2016-17 action plan outlines 18 practical initiatives Queensland Health, the Department of Education and Training and nongovernment service providers will undertake to ensure Indigenous children across Queensland have healthy ears and can listen, learn and reach their full potential,” Mr Dick said.

These initiatives will lead to measureable and practical on the ground service improvements across the health, early childhood and schooling sectors”.

Minister for Education Kate Jones said the early childhood and schooling initiatives in the 2016-17 action plan ranged from developing child health resources for early childhood education and care providers, to advocating for amendments to the Building Code of Australia.

She said the plan also seeks to develop information sharing protocols between schools and local healthcare providers so teachers can provide targeted support to children with ear and hearing health problems.

The commitment demonstrated by our nongovernment partners, in particular the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Queensland, to introduce consistent service delivery and workforce improvements across the schooling sector, has been very helpful.”

Matthew Brown, Director of Children’s Health Queensland’s Deadly Ears program responsible for coordinating the delivery of the 2016-17 action plan, said there was a strong focus on supporting primary healthcare providers to embed ear and hearing health into all primary healthcare provided to children.

The Deadly Kids, Deadly Futures framework builds on the foundations of the award winning Deadly Ears program which had seen considerable improvements in Indigenous child ear health over the past eight years.

Since launching the statewide service, the team has conducted more than 12,200 assessments of children at ENT clinics in remote and rural areas and provided ear health training to more than 1,000 local service providers across Queensland.

 

 

NACCHO Health News :Queensland Govt. $200 million “Making Tracks” focussed on closing the Indigenous health gap

CJig1A5UcAA7NE_

“We are pleased to see the emphasis placed on improved care across the health continuum,” .

Greater emphasis on health promotion and early intervention is critical in reducing the burden of disease on our people.

Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled organisations play a key role in promoting good health and access to primary health care, but we will only achieve better health outcomes for our people when we all work together – as a broader health system.

We applaud the Palaszczuk Government for highlighting mental health outcomes as a priority.

Mental health conditions are one of the most statistically significant conditions we see at TAIHS– second only to hypertension – and one of the areas where we are most under-resourced.

Mental health has a direct impact on overall health and well-being, and we look forward to the roll out of the mental health strategy.”

photoDW

Chair of Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Donald Whaleboat welcomed Making Tracks and commended the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.

PHOTO TOP: Cameron Dick (left) At the Townsville Deadly Day Out launching Making Tracks.

The Queensland  Government will put a greater focus on mental health in its approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next three years as part of an overall strategy to bridge the health gap between Indigenous Queenslanders and the broader population.

Health Minister Cameron Dick has released the Government’s priorities for spending $200 million over the next three years in targeting issues in Indigenous health.

Mr Dick  unveiled the Making Tracks investment strategy, part of Queensland’s continuing response to the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, at the Townsville NAIDOC Deadly Day Out at Riverway Parklands in the city’s west.

Making Tracks will guide the government’s investment in Indigenous-specific health services to better support Indigenous Queenslanders and help close the gap in health outcomes.

“Over the next three years, we will continue to direct funding to tackling the leading causes of mortality and preventable hospitalisation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

“A new element in this strategy is improving mental health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders and a separate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health strategy is currently being developed.”

Mr Dick said that mental health had emerged as the leading contributor to the burden of disease among Indigenous people in Queensland, and so action in this area was timely.

“Over the rest of this year we will be developing a more detailed strategy to address the needs of Indigenous Queenslanders with a mental illness.

“This will include action to strengthen the interface between Indigenous community-controlled health services and the public hospital system and to enhance the cultural capability of mainstream mental health services so they can respond more effectively to Indigenous patients..”

Chair of Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Donald Whaleboat welcomed Making Tracks and commended the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.

“We are pleased to see the emphasis placed on improved care across the health continuum,” said Mr Whaleboat.

“Greater emphasis on health promotion and early intervention is critical in reducing the burden of disease on our people.

“Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled organisations play a key role in promoting good health and access to primary health care, but we will only achieve better health outcomes for our people when we all work together – as a broader health system.”

“We applaud the Palaszczuk Government for highlighting mental health outcomes as a priority.

“Mental health conditions are one of the most statistically significant conditions we see at TAIHS– second only to hypertension – and one of the areas where we are most under-resourced.

“Mental health has a direct impact on overall health and well-being, and we look forward to the roll out of the mental health strategy.”

The development of more culturally effective models of service delivery will also continue with an investment of $3.3m each year in embedding cultural capability into clinical practice.

“A new online training program has been developed to help staff acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver culturally capable care in their region of Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

Other government and non-government organisations will also be provided access to these training modules to assist their own cultural capability programs.

The Making Tracks towards closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033 Investment Strategy 2015-2018 can be accessed at www.health.qld.gov.au