Indigenous Chronic Disease Package in 2010-11 - Annual Progress Report
Workforce Expansion Training and Support
Increasing the capacity of the primary care workforce and encouraging health professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue a career in health, allows more comprehensive health care to be provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
The Indigenous health workforce continued to be expanded in 2010-11 with the roll-out of the second phase of new positions. Significant activity also took place with training and educational initiatives, and the launch of a new national campaign to encourage more people to work in Indigenous health.
Key achievements in 2010-11Increased the number of new Indigenous health workforce positions to 363 full time equivalent positions since the commencement of the ICDP. This workforce is working with general practitioners, ACCHOs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive quality and coordinated primary health care.
84 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers (ATSIOWs) received formal orientation training and 34 ATSIOWs are undertaking formal Vocational Education and Training.
Continued implementation of education and training initiatives to encourage existing health professionals to work in Indigenous health. 39 Nurse Clinical Placement Scholarships and 21 Nurse Continuing Professional Development Scholarships were awarded in 2010‑11. 46 GP registrar training posts were established in Indigenous health services.
Developed a number of resources for the ‘Health Heroes’ advertising campaign to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students to pursue a job in health and existing health professionals to work in Indigenous health. These were launched in early 2011-12.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Worker - Perth Primary Care NetworkLee Narrier is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Worker at StreetDoctor (Perth Primary Care Network), and has been encouraging Indigenous Australians to visit the doctor and nurse at the clinic about any health issues.
Part of her job includes informing clients who have or are at risk of chronic disease about the PBS Co-payment measure. One of the Aboriginal women she has spoken with had previously stopped going to the doctor as she could not afford medication due to other expenses. This client is now attending weekly clinics to manage her chronic disease and is taking her prescribed medicine as required.
Case StudyNursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme recipient on his experience in undertaking an Australian Government supported clinical placement in an Aboriginal Medical Service.
“The chance to take part in a placement in the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (BRAMS) was an experience which I believe will benefit my practice as a nurse for the remainder of my career.
When I was granted the scholarship opportunity I liaised with senior academic staff at the Challenger Institute of Technology who used their contacts to seek a practical supervisor from Notre Dame University, accommodation at the campus and the opportunity to work at The process (also ably assisted by staff from the Royal College of Nursing Australia) went remarkably smoothly and I made the journey to Broome with the knowledge everything was in place for a great learning experience.
Once ensconced at the service I began to realize the importance of Aboriginal Medical Centres to local communities. To have an Indigenous specific health care facility is vitally important for the continued well being not only of individuals but to Aboriginal communities across our nation.
Apart from gaining the aforementioned knowledge I was able to take part in clinics in remote communities across the Kimberley region, gaining experience and insight into the specific health issues faced by Australia’s Indigenous people.
I am now 6 months from the completion of a structured nurse graduate program in a Perth Hospital and I intend to apply to return to the Kimberley to work in areas related to Aboriginal Health at its completion.
I would strongly recommend to any nursing student they take part in a similar placement and gain similar experiences to those I gained while working at the BRAMS. Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the formation and administration of the scholarship scheme for providing me with a chance to gain a wonderful insight into the tremendous rewards offered by working in Indigenous health in Australia.”
Scott. D. Roper
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Worker - Goldfields Esperance GP Network“I have visited their camp sites, sat around their fires, had many yarning sessions and listened to their needs. I have visited families in their homes spoken to mothers, fathers, and grandparents. I have assisted many families with appointments, setting up meetings and going into meetings. I have had so much support from other health services it’s been fantastic”
“It’s been a long road but a good road. It has been very successful with very good results.
Everywhere I go someone always stops me and asks about the program, the question is how do I sign up? Closing the Gap has helped many families and will continually do so in the near future”