Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Programs
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and initiatives are managed by the Department of Health and Ageing to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to effective health care services essential to improving health, and life expectancy, and reducing child mortality.
These programs aim to contribute to closing the gap within a decade by addressing the following areas of health:
- Primary Health Care
- Social and Emotional Wellbeing
- Substance Use
- Child and Maternal Health
- Chronic Disease
- Remote Services (including Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory)
- Primary Health Care
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund
- Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program
- Eye and Ear Health Program
- Healthy for Life
- New Directions Mothers and Babies Services
- Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program
- Substance Use
- Social and Emotional Wellbeing
- Strong fathers Strong families
- Closing the Gap(NT)—Indigenous Health and Related Services measure
Primary Health CareThe Primary Health Care base funding program provides ongoing funding to support Indigenous Health organisations to provide primary health care services; undertake testing and treatment for communicable diseases; undertake capital projects that support delivery for Indigenous health organisations; and improve the quality of and access to services.
OATSIH is undertaking a review to examine a number of models that could be used to determine how much funding organisations receive to deliver primary health care services. For more information, read about the OATSIH Primary Health Care Funding Review (the Review)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease FundThe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund supports activities to improve the prevention, detection, and management of chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to contribute to the Government’s target of closing the gap in life expectancy. The Fund consolidates 16 existing programs, including the majority of initiatives under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Chronic Disease Package, into a single flexible fund. The objective and priorities for the Fund are consistent with those of the Indigenous Chronic Disease Package. The three priority areas targeted are:
- Tackling chronic disease risk factors
- Primary health care services that can deliver
- Fixing the gaps and improving the patient journey.
The department’s preferred contact point for the Fund is via email at: ICDP@health.gov.au
Further information about the Fund, including Guidelines, can be found at Flexible Funds - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund
The ear health components of the measure include hearing health promotion, training of health workers in ear health and hearing, maintenance and purchase of equipment for ear health screening, and specialist services including ear surgery.
For further information please visit the Care for Kids Ears website.
Developmental Market Research to Inform Indigenous Ear Health Social Marketing InitiativesAs part of the Improving Eye and Ear Health Services for Indigenous Australians for Better Education and Employment Outcomes measure, social marketing activities targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are being developed and implemented from 2010 to 2013 to help promote ear and hearing health. To guide the strategic development of these communication activities, the Department commissioned extensive market research with community members caring for young children, elders, local health workers, ear specialists and school staff in 14 metropolitan, regional and remote communities around Australia. Key ear and hearing policy stakeholders were also consulted, following a review of current ear health promotion literature.
This qualitative market research has provided a detailed understanding of people’s current awareness, knowledge and attitudes in relation to ear and hearing health. Key barriers and motivators associated with reducing ear disease were also identified, together with people’s communication preferences.
You can view the final report of these market research findings and the implications for Indigenous ear health communications by clicking on the following link:
Developmental Market Research to Inform Indigenous Ear Health Social Marketing Initiatives
New Directions Mothers and Babies ServicesThis program aims to increase access to child and maternal health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. It provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their mothers with access to antenatal care; standard information about baby care; practical advice and assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting; monitoring of developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections; and health checks for Indigenous children before starting school.
ReportsThe annual report on implementation of the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement and Attachment A
Substance UseThe Australian Government funds drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund.
The fund's primary objective is to better promote and support drug and alcohol treatment services across Australia to build capacity and to effectively identify and treat coinciding mental illness and substance misuse. The fund will aim to improve the health and social outcomes of those Australians with substance use issues including, aiding recovery and reducing homelessness or the risk of homelessness.
Strong Fathers Strong FamiliesThis initiative, commencing in 2010-11, will target OATSIH-funded child and maternal health services delivering the Commonwealth Government's New Directions Mothers and Babies Services, Healthy for Life and Australian Nurse Family Partnership Programs.
The aim of the program is to provide access for Indigenous fathers, grandfathers and other male relatives to culturally appropriate, more male-inclusive or separate antenatal and other health-related services and messages that assist them to be more involved in the early development of their children's and family's lives.
Australian Government Strong Fathers Strong Families Program – Questions and Answers Fact Sheet
Closing the Gap – NT – Indigenous Health and Related Services measureApproximately $7.80 million is being provided over three years (2009-10 to 2011-12) to continue selected AOD services commenced under the NTER.
This funding has increased the AOD workforce in the primary health care and stand alone substance use service settings, including additional registered nurses, social workers, AOD workers and community support workers located across Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and Hermannsburg.
Funding is also provided to Northern Territory Department of Health and Families (NT DHF) for the provision of professional support and development to the AOD workers in the primary health care setting.
This investment in the AOD workforce is complemented by other Australian Government funded AOD programs across the NT.
Media releasesAll Media releases
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pharmacy Scholarship Scheme
- Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas
- Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme
- Quality Assurance for Aboriginal Medical Services (QAAMS)
- Evaluation of the sustainability and benefits of swimming pools in the Anagu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands (APY lands) in South Australia.
- A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia’s future
- Closing the Gap Northern Territory National Partnership Agreement
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