NACCHO Healthy Futures Report Card released: Aboriginal community-controlled health services a model of good practice

 

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“Aboriginal Community Controlled health services continue to be the best way to provide primary care to Aboriginal people and are making the biggest gains in closing the gap, The report card launched today shows that Aboriginal Community Controlled health services continue to improve in all areas that measure good practise in primary health care.

“This means our services are achieving good health outcomes for the Aboriginal people they serve “

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At the launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card today, NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke ( pictured above)

DOWNLOAD THE HEALTHY FUTURE REPORT CARD HERE

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations continue to improve on all key performance indicators that measure good practice in primary health care, said the peak Aboriginal health body today.

At the launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card today, NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke said the report showed that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services were improving in all 16 key performance indicators.

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“Aboriginal people have shown time and time again that they prefer community controlled services because of the unique and culturally appropriate environment they provide. Demand for these services is growing at an extremely high rate of 6 per cent per year.

“This shows that we need to continue to invest in this model for primary health care which is proving to be so effective. We welcome Ministers Ley and Nash’s recent recognition of the important work of community controlled health services by guaranteeing government funding for another three years.

“With this increase in demand we are also experiencing a chronic shortage of health workers in many of our services and long waiting lists for special care so funding certainty for our services is essential.”

However, Mr Cooke said that preventative health programs as well as primary health care are needed to close the gap.

“Chronic disease is way out of proportion for Aboriginal people compared with other Australians.

“We also need preventative programs which address risk factors for chronic disease, such as by reducing smoking rates.

“Many of these core preventative programs fall under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy and unfortunately it is not yet clear whether they will be approved.

“We’re urging the Government to urgently provide funding certainty for these essential preventative programs.

NACCHO political alert: Commission of Audit: Aboriginal health would suffer

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be exempt from any health co-payments to prevent any backward steps in Aboriginal health, said the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) today.

NACCHO Chair Justin Mohamed said the introduction of co-payments for basic health care such as GP visits and medicines, as recommended by the Commission of Audit, would increase barriers for many Aboriginal people to look after their own health.

“Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health remains one of Australia’s biggest challenges,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Increasing barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking appropriate health care will only increase this challenge.

“We need initiatives that will encourage Aboriginal people to seek medical attention and seek it early, not make it even harder for them to get the care they need.”

Mr Mohamed said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders often had a range of complex health issues so even a low co-payment charge could make health care unaffordable for many.

“For people who only visit their GP once a year a small co-payment is likely to be manageable,” Mr Mohamed said.

“However for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with more complex health needs even a $5 charge for each visit would add up very quickly.

“A large Aboriginal family could be out of pocket hundreds of dollars after just a few GP visits.

“This would put basic health care out of reach and be detrimental to the health of many Aboriginal people.

“I urge the government to carefully consider the implications before implementing this recommendation and to ensure any decision is not going to mean a backward step for the health of Aboriginal people.”

NACCHO at National Press Club April 2 : Investing in Aboriginal community controlled health makes economic $ense

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On 2 April the NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed will be appearing at the National Press Club in Canberra

Watch live on ABC-TV at 12.30 pm (see below)

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“Investing in Aboriginal Community Control makes economic $ense”

The good news is that ACCHS deliver the goods – not only health gains, but also substantial economic gains.

 In all the rhetoric about Closing the Gap, what is missing from the picture is this —  the ACCHS network of clinics, community health centres and health-based co-operatives throughout Australia generates substantial  economic value for Aboriginal people and their  communities. ACCHS are a large-scale employer of Aboriginal people. This provides  real income and economic independence for many people. They contribute enormously to raising the education and skill levels of the Aboriginal workforce.

Investing in ACCHS is a good business proposition. It provides value for money and is highly cost-effective for four main reasons:

ACCHS deliver primary health care that delivers results

 Like your local GP does but more effectively for Aboriginal people because  the ACCHS model combines the best of clinical know-how with culturally enriched local knowledge and wisdom. It takes care of the whole person, not separate body parts. People work as part of a team that includes Aboriginal Health Workers, allied health,  and social and emotional wellbeing counsellors   in the front line. GPs as well, although not always. It runs health promotion and health screening to identify and treat health problems before they get serious. It organises access to medical specialists and hospitals if necessary. The ACCHS model considers individuals and families as part of a community and it responds effectively to community-based needs and issues.

This model of health care works for Aboriginal people. Evidence-based inquiries and reports show that ACCHS outperform mainstream services in terms of treatment and prevention. They reduce the need for highly expensive hospital-based services. And they  save lives.

ACCHS employment boosts Aboriginal education and training levels

 ACCHS employ people with high skill levels. Most have tertiary level qualifications and several have multiple qualifications. This increases the  education and skill base of the Aboriginal workforce.  Organisational  pathways in ACCHS are based on continuing and further education.  The message is that ACCHS have education benefits. A single investment by government in ACCHS  deals effectively with the  two main problems in Aboriginal communities – high unemployment and low levels of education.

BOOKINGS

NACCHO Healthy Futures Summit Melbourne 24-26 June 2014 : Invitation to submit abstracts

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On behalf of the NACCHO Board and Secretariat it is my pleasure to invite you to submit an abstract to the NACCHO Healthy Futures Summit at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 24-26 June 2014.

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ALL ABSTRACTS MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA THE ABSTRACT PORTAL

The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO REGISTER

NACCHO would like to demonstrate to the government at this summit how investing more in ACCHS is the best way of promoting better health more employment, more jobs and greater community economic benefits.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS ONLINE

NACCHO Healthy futures Summit-Melbourne 24-26 June 2014

NACCHO invites abstracts submission from its members the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Affiliates and key stakeholder organisations to showcase policy frameworks, best practice and investment in Aboriginal Health.

The delegates will be a representation from all over Australia in clinical practice, policy and research.

IMPORTANT DATES

Call for Abstracts open 25 February
All Abstracts Due 21 Mar 2014
Abstract Notifications 4 April 2014
Presenter Registration Due 18 April 2014
Early bird registrations open 25 February 2014
Early-Bird registrations Closes 18 April 2014
Program released 4 April 2014
Exhibition and sponsorship 16 May 2014
NACCHO 2014 Summit 24 -26 June 2014

Program Streams

1.Economic Development

  • Economic models of investment  into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Economic models of investment through partnership
  • Income generation through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
  • Brokerage Modelling with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

2.Health Reform

2.1 Workforce

Abstract that demonstrates best practice within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Affiliates and key stakeholders that reflect these themes:

  • National, State, Regional and Local Workforce Needs Analysis
  • Models of success
  • Recruitment and Retention Strategies
  • Mentoring Programs
  • Workforce Innovation Partnership
  • Career pathways that incorporate Scope of Practice within ACCHO’s

2.2 Continuous Quality Improvement

  • Affiliate Registered Training Organisations Capacity Building of ACCHO’s through scope of practice
  • Accreditation
  • Clinical Standards

3.Healthy Futures

Abstract that demonstrates best practice within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Affiliates and key stakeholders that reflect these themes:

  • Clinic Practice/frontline servicing
  • Mental Health
  • Social Emotional Wellbeing
  • Drug & Alcohol
  • Mums & Babies
  • Women’s Health
  • Men’s Health
  • Oral Health
  • Aged Care
  • Disabilities
  • Adolescent
  • Sexual Health

4.Youth

Abstract that demonstrates best practice within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Affiliates and key stakeholders that reflect these themes:

  • Investment in Youth by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
  • Career pathways within an ACCHO, Affiliates and key stakeholders
  • Youth Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Healthy Lifestyles and Youth
  • Health Promotion Strategies

5.Research & Data

Abstract that demonstrates best practice within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Affiliates and key stakeholders that reflect these themes:

  • Population Health
  • Best practice models
  • Gap and Needs analysis
  • Research within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
  • Research Partnerships
  • Health Information
  • Importance of Data
  • Cultural protocols into practice
  • What’s the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Data telling us?

General guidelines for submissions

  • Abstracts will only be accepted by submitting through the online process below .
  • Abstracts must be a maximum of 300 words .
  • All abstracts must be original work.
  • The abstract will contain text only; no diagrams, illustrations, tables or graphics.
  • All presenting authors must register and pay for their registration for the conference by 18 April 2014 otherwise the presentation will be removed from the program.
  • The NACCHO advisory group reserves the right to accept and reject abstracts for inclusion in the program and allocate to a format that may not have been initially specified by the author/presenter.
  • The conference organisers will not be held responsible for submission errors caused by internet service outages, hardware or software delays, power outages or unforeseen events.
  • It is the responsibility of the presenting author to ensure that the abstract is submitted correctly. After an author has submitted their abstract, they should check their abstract was uploaded successfully.
  • All authors will receive notification of the outcome of their submission on 4 April 2014.
  • Responsibility for the accuracy of abstracts rests with the author.
  • Where there are co-authors, only one abstract is to be submitted. The presenting author is responsible for ensuring the co-authors agree with and are aware of the content before submitting the abstract.
  • An abstract which does not adhere to these requirements will not be accepted

ALL ABSTRACTS MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA THE ABSTRACT PORTAL

For further information contact the NACCHO SUMMIT TEAM 02 6246 9300 or EMAIL

NACCHO political alert: An open letter to the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council from a NACCHO member

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“I believe passionately in the creation of relevant and workable policies that can bring real change into our communities, policies that have the ability to create better health, education and social outcomes for our people.

I am keenly aware of the many and far-reaching issues surrounding Aboriginal Affairs, as Chief Executive Officer of Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-Operative, I am faced with these challenges daily.

Don MacAskill  (pictured above in plain shirt with the Deadley Choices mob)

An open letter to the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council:

Reasonable questions regarding the Terms of Reference

 To the members of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, firstly, I thank you for your service and commitment to Aboriginal affairs and issues facing our communities today.

Like many Indigenous people, I was encouraged and hopeful after the announcement of an Indigenous Advisory Council, dedicated to representing the needs and concerns of Aboriginal people across the country. I hope that the Council’s opportunity to work closely with Prime Minister Abbott as he strives to improve the health and welfare of Aboriginal people is maximised, and that you will be courageous in your efforts to ensure he truly is the ‘Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs’.

While I believe this has the potential to be a worthwhile initiative, I do have a few concerns regarding the transparency of the Council and what the reporting obligations will be to the community. I have listed a few of these concerns below, and look forward to receiving your thoughts on the following.

After some basic research, I have been unable to locate any information detailing the policies and frameworks around the Council. I, and many others in the community, are curious as to how members were elected, and what selection process was undertaken?

Will the frameworks around the Council, for example, code of conduct, reporting responsibilities, minutes of meetings, key performance indicators of both individual and whole of council performance, be made publicly available?

Another area I felt was unclear was relating to the scope of the Council, and the specific impacts it has on policy creation, the assessment of existing policies relating to the Indigenous community, or whether it is simply there to provide advice when requested by the Prime Minister?

Has a strategic plan, complete with objectives and evaluation models, been developed and will this be available for the public? What reports will be made available to the public? As I noted with some concern, stated within the Terms of Reference, ‘the deliberation of the Council will be confidential, but the Council may choose to issue a statement after its meetings.’ There appears to be a worrying lack of transparency, and I have concerns this may undermine the meaningful changes the Council has the opportunity to effect.

I believe passionately in the creation of relevant and workable policies that can bring real change into our communities, policies that have the ability to create better health, education and social outcomes for our people.

I am keenly aware of the many and far-reaching issues surrounding Aboriginal Affairs, as Chief Executive Officer of Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-Operative, I am faced with these challenges daily. I have been following with some interest, the debate which has been raging within mainstream media regarding the decision making process of not only the Council, but also of Government as a whole.

Pragmatism vs ideology, has dominated the conversation and I believe this is a conversation all Australians need to have.

Our social justice values and the policies and laws that govern wider Australia, are based on several ideologies, mateship, a fair go for all, and taking care of the less fortunate. This is what forms the basis, in my opinion, of what makes us Australian.

The Council itself has been founded on the bipartisan ideology of ‘Closing the Gap’ and all the critical work that needs to be done to achieve this now and into the future.

In order to achieve real outcomes for the Aboriginal community, I believe Ideology should form the basis of every policy developed by those elected to govern, for those they represent. Should it not be the structure, implementation and evaluation of these policies that is pragmatic? Pragmatic solutions solidly rooted in the fundamental ideals we, as a country, support and embody?

I for one do not agree that the decision-making process must be simply ideological, or pragmatic, surely the integration of these concepts has not been eroded from our public consciousness so completely that they are now mutually exclusive.

I do not want to imagine a country, where decisions that impact on our most vulnerable and disenfranchised groups are made purely on economic or political reasons, nor do I want to see policy created based on ideology that has not root in best practice or better outcomes for the community.

I hope through the creation of this Council, you can find a way to engage the broader Aboriginal community and marry these two fundamental concepts in a way that achieves socially just, financially responsible and transparent outcomes for the community.

I look forward to seeing the outcomes you achieve through this Council, on the ground in my community.

Kind regards, Don MacAskill Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-Operative 0249 408 103

NACCHO news

HAVE You checked out the NACCHO APP HERE ?

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DOWNLOAD links here

The NACCHO App contains a geo locator, which will help you find the nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in your area and automatically creates a number to call .

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NACCHO Aboriginal Health reports:Sport and recreation programs help health in Aboriginal communities

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A paper released last week on the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse website examines the beneficial effects of participation in sports and recreation for supporting healthy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The paper, Supporting healthy communities through sports and recreation programs, reviews over 30 studies, covering all geographic areas from inner city to remote regions, and age groups ranging from primary school to young adult.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE

It shows that there are many benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs, including some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and some evidence of crime reduction.

MAKE A DONATION TO THE NACCHO SPORTS HEALTHY FUTURES PROGRAM

OR VIA THE NACCHO APP

APPLY FOR FUNDING FROM THE NACCHO SPORTS HEALTHY FUTURES PROGRAM HERE

The paper shows that although the effects of sports and recreation programs can be powerful and transformative, these effects tend to be indirect and therefore hard to measure.

For example, programs to reduce juvenile antisocial behaviour largely work through diversion—these can provide alternative and safer opportunities for risk-taking, for maintenance of social status, and in building healthy relationships with elders.

Because of the lack of direct measures on the impact of sports and recreation programs on various outcomes for Indigenous Australians, this resource sheet focussed on some of the principles that can help ensure that the program is successful. These include:

  • Linking sports and recreation programs with other services and opportunities;
  • Promoting a program rather than a desired outcome;
  • Engaging the community in the planning and implementation of programs, as this will ensure that the program is culturally appropriate, and potentially sustainable.

What we know

• There is some evidence, in the form of critical descriptions of programs and systematic reviews, on the benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs. These include some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and crime reduction.

• Although the effects of sports and recreation programs can be powerful and transformative, these effects tend to be indirect. For example, using these programs to reduce juvenile antisocial behaviour largely work through diversion, providing alternative safe opportunities to risk taking, maintenance of social status, as well as opportunities to build healthy relationships with Elders and links with culture.

• Although Indigenous Australians have lower rates of participation in sport than non-Indigenous people, surveys suggest that around one-third of Indigenous people participate in some sporting activity (ABS 2010). That makes sports a potentially powerful vehicle for encouraging Indigenous communities to look at challenging personal and community issues.

• Within Indigenous communities, a strong component of sport and recreation is the link with traditional culture. Cultural activities such as hunting are generally more accepted as a form of sport and recreation than traditional dance. Therefore sport and recreation are integral in understanding ‘culture’ within Indigenous communities, as well as highlighting the culture within which sport and recreation operate.

What works

There are a range of benefits pertaining to participation in sports and recreation activities. In the absence of evaluation evidence, below is a list of principles of ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t work’ to assist with sport and recreation program implementation.

• Providing a quality program experience heightens engagement in the sports or recreational activity.

• Where no activity has been previously made available, offering some type of sport or recreation program to fill that void should be given priority over making selective decisions about which program to carry out.

• Linking sports and recreation programs with other services and opportunities (for example, health services or counselling; jobs or more relevant educational programs) improves the uptake of these allied services. This assists in developing links to other important programs for improving health and wellbeing outcomes, or behavioural change.

• For sporting programs, providing long-term sustained, regular contact between experienced sportspeople and participants allows time to consolidate new skills and benefits that flow from involvement in the program.

• Promoting a program rather than a desired outcome improves the uptake of activities—for example, a physical fitness program is more likely to be well used if promoted as games or sports rather than a get-fit campaign.

• Involving the community in the planning and implementation of programs promotes cultural appropriateness, engagement and sustainability.

• Keeping participants’ costs to a minimum ensures broad access to programs.

• Scheduling activities at appropriate times enhances engagement—for example, for young people, after school, weekends and during school holidays, when they are most likely to have large amounts of unsupervised free time.

• Facilitating successful and positive risk taking provides an alternative to inappropriate risks.

• Creating a safe place through sports or recreation activities, where trust has been built, allows for community members to work through challenges and potential community and personal change without fear of retribution or being stigmatised.

• Ensuring stable funding and staffing is crucial to developing sustainable programs.

NACCHO Aboriginal health news: Smoking fall a win for Aboriginal health, but many problems remain: ABS report

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THE gap between the health of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is still “significant”, according to NACCHO the peak body on Aboriginal  health.

It also says improving Aboriginal health should be a priority for all state and territory governments.

Report from Patricia Karvelas The Australian

Picture Above :Justin Mohamed Chair of NACCHO recently launching NACCHO Aboriginal Health newspaper ,with Trevor Kapeen Koori Mail

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012-13, released today, showed some “encouraging” results in reducing smoking rates but other areas needed more focus.

KEY FINDINGS BELOW or

ABS REPORT and more INFO

Justin Mohamed, Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), said the fact that the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) to Close the Gap had not been renewed by all state and territory governments meant that hundreds of health programs that were improving health outcomes were now at risk.

DOWNLOAD THE NACCHO PRESS RELEASE

“The investment in programs to stop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from smoking is reaping rewards with smoking rates on the decrease,” Mr Mohamed said.

“It is critical that investment in these programs continues so we maintain the downward trend.

“The fact that two in five Aboriginal people are still daily smokers means we need to keep our focus on the programs that are working such as those run nationally by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.”

Mr Mohamed said another pleasing result was the reduction in the prevalence of ear and hearing problems since 2001.

“However we are still seeing rates of diabetes, asthma and heart and kidney disease are way too high in both remote and urban Aboriginal communities. Obesity rates are 1.5 times non-Aboriginal communities and other areas of concern are alcohol consumption and mental health.”

Mr Mohamed said improving Aboriginal health required long-term commitment and investment, and leadership at the national level.

“There are no quick fixes in Aboriginal health. Todays report shows we are making some headway but achieving generational change means maintaining the momentum,” he said.

“Inaction on the NPA means many of the health programs and services that have contributed to the gains seen in the ABS report will literally have to close their doors within months.”

He said getting the states and territories back on board with a new agreement must now be a priority for the new Coalition government.

“Aboriginal community controlled health services are making a difference in their communities and they need to see continued support from all levels of government.”

KEY FINDINGS

General health

  • In 2012–13, around two in five (39.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in very good or excellent health, while 7.2% rated their health as poor.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were around half as likely as non-Indigenous people to have reported excellent or very good health (rate ratio of 0.6).


Long-term health conditions

Asthma

  • In 2012–13, one in six (17.5%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had asthma.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas were twice as likely as those in remote areas to have asthma (19.6% compared with 9.9%).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to have asthma (rate ratio of 1.9) (Endnote 1).

Ear diseases and hearing loss

  • In 2012–13, around one in eight (12.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems (rate ratio of 1.3) (Endnote 1).

Heart and circulatory diseases

  • In 2012–13, around one in eight (12.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had heart disease.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates for heart disease were significantly higher than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in all age groups from 15–54 years.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have asthma (rate ratio of 1.2) (Endnote 1).

Diabetes/high sugar levels

  • In 2012–13, around one in twelve (8.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had diabetes mellitus and/or high sugar levels in their blood or urine.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates for diabetes/high sugar levels were between three and five times as high as the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in all age groups from 25 years and over.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have diabetes/high sugar levels (rate ratio of 3.3) (Endnote 1).


Health risk factors

Tobacco smoking

  • ln 2012–13, two in five (41.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over smoked on a daily basis.
  • Rates of daily smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have come down from 50.9% in 2002 and 44.6% in 2008
  • In 2012–13, current daily smoking was still more prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than non-Indigenous people in every age group
  • Based on age standardised proportions, the gap between the daily smoking rate in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and non-Indigenous population was 27 percentage points in 2001 and was 25 percentage points in 2012–13 (Endnote 1).

Alcohol consumption

  • In 2012–13, around one in six (18.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over and non-Indigenous people were exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines at similar rates (rate ratio of 1.0).
  • In 2012–13, just over half (53.6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had consumed more than four standard drinks on a single occasion in the past year, exceeding the threshold for single occasion risk.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 35 years and over were significantly more likely than non-Indigenous women in this age group to have exceeded the threshold for single occasion risk
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have exceeded the single occasion risk guidelines (rate ratio of 1.1)(Endnote 1).

Illicit substance use

  • In 2012–13, just over one in five (21.7%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over said that they had used an illicit substance in the previous year.
  • Marijuana was the most commonly reported illicit drug, having been used by one in six (18%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the previous year.

Overweight and obesity

  • In 2012–13, almost one-third (30.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2–14 years were overweight or obese according to their BMI
  • In 2012–13, two-thirds (65.6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were overweight or obese (28.6% and 37.0% respectively), according to their BMI.
  • Obesity rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females and males were significantlyhigher than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in almost every age group.

Exercise levels – non-remote areas only

  • In 2012–13, three in five (62%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over were physically inactive and one in ten (10%) had exercise at high intensity.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have been sedentary or exercising at low intensity (rate ratio of 1.1) and were only half as likely to have been exercising at high intensity (rate ratio of 0.6) (Endnote 1).
  • In 2012–13, just under half (46%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas had met the National Physical Activity (NPA) Guidelines target of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days (or a total of 150 minutes per week).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas were less likely than non-Indigenous people to have met the NPA targets of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week or 150 minutes and 5 sessions per week (rate ratio of 0.8 for both) (Endnote 1).


Physical measurements

Waist circumference

  • In 2012–13, 60.4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men aged 18 years and over had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, while 81.4% of women had an increased level of risk.
  • On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men aged 18 years and over had a waist measurement of 99.7 cm, while women had a waist measurement of 97.4 cm.

Blood pressure

  • In 2012–13, one in five (20.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander adults had measured high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have high blood pressure (rate ratio of 1.2) (Endnote 1).

Health-related actions

Consultations with health professionals

In 2012–13, in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

  • just over one in five (21.9%) people had consulted a GP or specialist in the last two weeks
  • one in five (18.5%) people had visited a health professional (other than a doctor) in the last two weeks
  • one in twenty (4.8%) people aged two years and over had visited a dental professional in the last two weeks.
  • Between 2001 and 2012–13, use of health professionals (other than GP/specialist) increased significantly from 16.3% to 18.5%.
  • Between 2001 and 2012–13, consultation rates for GP/specialist and dental professionals have remained largely unchanged.

Hospital visits and admissions

In 2012–13, in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

  • around one in sixteen (6.0%) people had visited the casualty/outpatients/day clinic in the last two weeks
  • around one in six (18.0%) people had been admitted to a hospital in the previous year.

ENDNOTE

1. Difference between the age standardised proportion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people is statistically significant

NACCHO press release:NACCHO launches new Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands App

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The chair of National Aboriginal Community Controlled health organisation (NACCHO) this week joined with the AFL Indigenous All Stars at its International rules training session in Melbourne to launch Australia’s first Aboriginal Health APP.

Pictured above: MICK O’Loughlin coach of the Indigenous All Stars and Sydney Swan legend promoting the NACCHO APP

Mr Mohamed said it was quite appropriate to publicly launch the NACCHO Aboriginal Health App in front of 25 of the fittest Aboriginal males in Australia, because the new APP compliments NACCHO’s  Investing in Healthy Futures for Generational Change plan 20130-2030 and  sports activity is a key element to Close the Gap.

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“Our APP promotes the sports healthy futures program that will give Aboriginal youth the opportunity to improve their overall health and wellbeing through active participation in sports.

Research shows that if a young person is happy and healthy they will be able to get the most out of their education, build their confidence and their self-belief and hopefully one day become a well-educated “Indigenous All-star” in the sport or employment of their choosing.” Mr. Mohamed said.

Mr. Mohamed said he is encouraging all  150 NACCHO members and stakeholders to promote the APP to their 5,000 staff and over 100,000 clients so that our community members can really have Aboriginal health in Aboriginal Hands. All ready in first few days over 1,000 Apps have been downloaded from the APP Store and Google Android store.

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Here are the URL links to the App – alternatively you can type NACCHO into both stores and they come up!

iPhone/iPad

ios.giveeasy.org/naccho

Android

android.giveeasy.org/naccho

“The NACCHO App contains a geo locator, which will help you find the nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in your area and  provides heath information online and telephone on a wide range of topics and where you can go to get more information or assistance should you need urgent help “ Mr Mohamed said.

Location

Health help includes:

Ambulance, Alcohol, Babies Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children,  Depression, Diabetes, Domestic Violence, Drugs, eHealth, Eye Health, Gambling, Healthy Eating, Hearing, Male health, Medicare, Mental Health, Prostate cancer, Smoking , Suicide, Teenagers, Women’s Health.

The NACCHO App allows users  to share, connect or contact NACCHO through our social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, daily news alerts and the NACCHO website.

The App also allows people to donate to the NACCHO Sport Health Futures program. Through the NACCO App you can make secure credit card donations, have receipts delivered straight to your device and find out how your donation is making a difference to the lives of young and old Aboriginal Australians.

The Sport Health Futures program aims to distribute up to 1,000 AFL/NRL footballs, netballs, soccer balls, basketballs and other sports equipment to Aboriginal community organisations, sporting clubs and schools throughout Australia.

Mr Mohamed said he would encourage any NACCHO member, Aboriginal community, sports or school to complete this  online  application.

For the donated sports equipment the applicant must partner with a NACCHO member and organise for  team members to have a health checks at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service or other medical service if applicable –

APPLY HERE

For media contact and further information contact Colin Cowell Mobile 0401 331 251 or Email

APP DETAILS

This App provides a quick and easy way

1. Find an Aboriginal Health Service

Aboriginal patients can now locate their nearest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health service throughout Australia.

2. Health Help online and Telephone

Need health help or information online or a telephone hotline number for;

Ambulance, Alcohol, Babies Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children,  Depression, Diabetes, Domestic Violence, Drugs, Ehealth, Eye Health, Gambling, Healthy Eating, Hearing, Male health, Medicare, Mental Health, Prostate cancer, Smoking , Suicide, Teenagers, Women’s Health.

3. NACCHO AFL Indigenous players

Our NACCHO Investing in Healthy Futures For Generational Change Plan 2013-2030 has just been released and by partnering in 2013 with the AFL we can promote and achieve our Close the Gap targets for our future generations.

NACCHO is a proud partner of the Indigenous All-Stars Team and all the current listed AFL indigenous players are listed on this APP.

4. Learn/Inform

How our NACCHO members are making a difference

5. Share, Connect or contact

With NACCHO through our social media platforms such as Twitter, FACEBOOK and Daily News Alerts and website

6. Invest/donate to healthy futures.

We are inviting all sport followers to help NACCHO “invest in healthy futures for generational change” by donating to our sports star future fund that aims to supply over 1000 footballs, netballs, soccer balls and basketballs to Aboriginal community clubs over the next 12 months.

NACCHO World Mental Health Day news :Abbott Government Commitment to Mental Health

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The Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP announced today the first Australian Government actions to progress mental health as a key priority area.

Marking World Mental Health Day, Mr Dutton said there was clearly a need for a comprehensive review of mental health services to ensure that they are delivered to those people most in need, and that funding is provided to those programmes that have proven to be most effective on the frontline.

SEE ALL NACCHO previous mental health stories here

SEE ALL NACCHO Social and emotional stories here

SEE ALL NACCHO suicide prevention stories here

“People with mental illness deserve the same standards of access and treatment as those with a physical illness and I have asked the National Mental Health Commission to do a thorough review of all existing services, state and federal and non-government, to assess how well and efficiently they are helping their clients,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Review aims to ensure services are being properly targeted, that services are not being duplicated and that programmes are not being unnecessarily burdened by red tape.

“As part of this process, we will seek to identify gaps in both mental health research and workforce development and training. We will also consider the particular challenges of providing services in rural, regional and remote Australia.”

Other areas of committed funding are:

  • Establishment of a National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health.  At a cost of $18 million over four years, the new National Centre will be established by the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Victoria which will conduct  clinical trials on cutting edge treatments for young people and train a new generation of mental health workers.
  • Development of a comprehensive e-mental health platform. With funding of $5 million over three years  the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre will develop a new, comprehensive e-mental health platform to make it easier for young people to access advice and support 24 hours a day.
  • headspace: Building on the investment in headspace youth mental health centres, the government will expand the number of sites around Australia to 100.
  • Dementia Research: The government confirms that it will provide a further $200 million over five years to Australian scientists and researchers working on ways to prevent or cure dementia, a brain disease that is expected to affect nearly one million Australians  by 2050,

Mr Dutton said in Australia there is a lot of evidence that people are not getting the mental health help they need, especially young people.

“More research is urgently needed to develop better ways of preventing and treating mental illness and the services provided must be guided by evidence of what works and what doesn’t.

“The Review by the Mental Health Commission is the first step in establishing how we should be funding mental health programmes into the future so that people can have better access to the treatments and services they need as they struggle with mental illness,” Mr Dutton said.

Media contact:  Kay McNiece, Minister Dutton’s Office, 0412 132585

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Are you interested in working in Aboriginal health?

NACCHO as the national authority in comprenhesive Aboriginal primary health care currently has a wide range of job opportunities in the pipeline.

Register your current or future interest with our HR TEAM HERE

NACCHO political alert: NACCHO welcomes Coalition Indigenous policy finally released

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The NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed welcomes the release of the Coalition Indigenous policy  document and if successful on Saturday hopes that the Coalition will work closely with peak bodies like NACCHO to develop policy and invest in healthy futures for generational change. We look forward to more detail
You can read the full policy in the download

DOWNLOAD the COALITION INDIGENOUS POLICY BOOKLET HERE

Watch NACCHO chair Justin Mohamed and Kirstie Parker On Skynews discussing Coalition policy

Key Points

The Coalition believes indigenous Australians deserve a better future, with more job opportunities, empowered individuals and communities, and higher standards of living.

The Coalition aims to ensure that right around Australia, children go to school, adults go to work and the ordinary law of the land is observed – in indigenous communities no less than in the general community.

The Coalition will establish a Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, to be chaired by Mr Warren Mundine. The Council will help ensure that the Indigenous programmes achieve real, positive change to the lives of Aboriginal people.

We will transfer responsibility for Indigenous programmes to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Under a Coalition government Australia will, in effect, have a Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs and a dedicated Indigenous Affairs Minister.

All Australian children, but particularly disadvantaged Indigenous children, need access to a proper education. Much more needs to be done in this area. The Coalition will work with the States and Territories to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children.

Within 12 months of taking office, the Coalition will put forward a draft amendment for constitutional recognition and establish a bipartisan process to assess its chances of success. The key objective of a referendum will be to achieve a unifying moment for the nation, similar to that achieved by the 1967 constitutional referendum.

The Coalition will provide support for Jawun’s Empowered Communities initiative, which is a new regionalised model to be applied in eight opt-in communities. Empowered Communities will give more authority to local indigenous leaders with a view to achieving Closing the Gap targets more quickly.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will review indigenous training and employment programmes to ensure that such programmes are more effectively linked to employment outcomes. This review will be headed by Mr Andrew Forrest.

We will provide up to $45 million for GenerationOne’s demand-driven training model. This commitment, through GenerationOne’s Australian Employment Covenant, will train up to 5,000 Indigenous people for guaranteed jobs

HEALTH

The Coalition will work collaboratively with State and Territory Governments, as well as the community health sector through existing national frameworks, to ensure that our efforts to close the Indigenous health gap achieve the real and lasting outcomes that all Australians expect.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health continues to be an urgent priority for the Coalition. We have a long and proud record of improving Indigenous health outcomes and we remain fully committed to achieving health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
Despite good intent and considerable investment by successive governments, there remains a significant disparity in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians as evident by key indicators such as life expectancy, age-standardised death rates and rates of chronic disease.
Continued investment in clinical health services for all Indigenous Australians will remain a priority for the Coalition. However, the Coalition is also determined to address the social determinants of health that will be key to improving Indigenous health outcomes.
The Coalition has provided in-principle support for Closing the Gap initiatives and will maintain the funding in the Budget allocated to Closing the Gap in Health. We have also committed to a range of initiatives to improve school attendance, employment opportunities and appropriate housing options in remote and Indigenous communities.

The Choice

The ANAO reports that in 2011 there were 210 Indigenous specific Australian Government programmes and sub-programmes included in its Closing the Gap activities, administered by more than 40 agencies across 17 separate portfolios, with the best estimate of expenditure totalling $4.2 billion in 2011-12.

Unfortunately, you do not have to look very closely at the Prime Minister’s recent report on Closing the Gap to conclude that Labor’s approach to Indigenous Affairs has not worked.

While a target for access to preschool programmes appears to have been met, there is no indication that Aboriginal children are availing themselves of these places. The life expectancy gap is stuck stubbornly where it was five years ago. There has been an improvement in the infant mortality rate, but the trend was established under the Howard Government as far back as 1998 and the decline in infant mortality has not accelerated under Labor. Despite all the expenditure on job programmes, unemployment remains unacceptably high. Tragically, a number of the education or NAPLAN indicators are going backwards.

Too many young Indigenous people in remote areas are not attending school and are not able to read or write at anywhere near an acceptable standard. Labor has clearly not done enough to address this.

Economic development on Aboriginal land and land tenure reform has stalled because the Labor Government has no appetite for changing the status quo. They abandoned the Indigenous Home Ownership on Indigenous Land programme because of their complete lack of progress on land tenure reform. Indigenous people in remote areas remain dependent on welfare, have no jobs, no property rights and are over run by bureaucrats; while Labor’s priority is the protection of vested interests.

They dropped the ball on the Northern Territory intervention and have replaced it with the self-serving bureaucratic Stronger Futures programme, leaving future generations condemned to a life on welfare.

The Coalition’s Policy

The failure to properly manage the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars for remote Indigenous housing under their Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure programme (SIHIP) is an absolute disgrace.

In the end, despite all the money Labor has spent, it will not have achieved its objective of reducing overcrowding in remote communities.

Labor’s failure to properly monitor and evaluate Indigenous programmes has led to chronic waste and lost opportunities, a prime example of this is the mismanagement of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure programme.

Resources meant to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians are being squandered on overlapping and inconsistent services and bloated bureaucracies that disempower local people and their communities.

The Labor Indigenous affairs landscape is littered with bureaucratic failure and incompetence. The ANAO found that the key Australian Government agency responsible for coordination arrangements for Indigenous programmes “is failing to adequately perform its lead agency role and needs to be more proactive at monitoring and reporting on expenditure.”

Labor has shown that it has not been prepared to apply the same standards and expectations for Indigenous Australians that it would apply to other Australians. Like Labor’s approach to housing, when they set targets and as usual fail to meet them they simply reduce the standard to be achieved.

The result of all this is that after more than six years and lots of money, Labor has not made sufficient inroads into Aboriginal welfare dependency, incarceration rates, overcrowding, poverty or school attendance and achievement.

The Coalition will continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities, but will examine these costly programmes to make sure that they are directly working to meet the Closing the Gap targets.

We will take steps to ensure that the people who the programmes and services are intended to assist take advantage of those programmes and services. We would also make sure that programmes are targeted on the basis of need, not race alone, and are delivered in the most effective way possible.

Attending school is an absolute must. Opportunities for employment must be grasped. The Coalition will operate on the principle of offering a hand up rather than a hand out.

The Coalition will make sure that the same standards and the same expectations apply to Indigenous Australians as are applied to other Australians. Importantly, we would not attempt to deny local people the opportunity to solve their own problems.

The Coalition’s Policy for Indigenous Affairs will invest $94 million over the forward estimates in a better future for indigenous Australians