Closing the Gap—Northern Territory (previously Northern Territory Emergency Response)—July 2009 to June 2012

An overview of the initiatives under the Closing the Gap—Northern Territory—National Partnership Agreement.

Page last updated: 29 January 2014

Stronger Futures in the NT—Health

What it does

The Stronger Futures in the NT—Health (SFNT—Health) initiative is a $754.4m investment, over 10 years, that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians in the NT. SFNT—Health will be implemented through a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) between the Commonwealth and the NT government. The NPA on SFNT—Health has replaced the expired NPA on Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory.

What it achieves

The SFNT—Health package includes:
    1. an integrated hearing health program for Indigenous children across the continuum of care
    2. an integrated oral health program for Indigenous children across the continuum of care
    3. child abuse trauma counselling and support services for Indigenous children and their families in remote communities, through the Mobile Outreach Service Plus
    4. a Territory-wide, integrated and comprehensive, primary health care system
    5. continuing reform of the Aboriginal primary health care system
    6. a short-term health professional placement program that supports the primary health care sector
    7. additional alcohol and other drug workers in primary and other health care services, and
    8. access to high quality and healthy food in remote communities.

Stronger Indigenous Health Services (SIHS) Primary Health Care (PHC) Service Maintenance Grants Program

The SIHS PHC Service Maintenance Program, a component under the SFNT—Health initiative, provides annual grant funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in the NT to repair, maintain and upgrade primary health care clinics and staff housing facilities.

More information on the annual SIHS PHC Service Maintenance Program and the grants funding process can be found in the Program Guidelines below:

Aims and health programs

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) was announced in June 2007 in response to reports of abuse and neglect of children outlined in the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle "Little Children are Sacred" report.

In 2009, the Prime Minister and Northern Territory Chief Minister signed the Closing the Gap—Northern Territory—National Partnership Agreement which committed both governments to build on and enhance core NTER measures.

Health Measures

Under the Closing the Gap—Northern Territory—National Partnership Agreement and the related Federal Budget measure Closing the Gap—Northern Territory—health and related measures, the following programs were funded:
  • The Expanding Health Services Delivery Initiative (EHSDI) which aimed to strengthen and increase the delivery of primary health care services in remote Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory.
  • Ear, nose and throat care and management follow-up services identified through the NTER Child Health Checks. (This was completed in December 2010.)
  • Dental follow-up services identified through the NTER Child Health Checks.
  • Drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services that commenced in 2007–08.
  • Mobile Outreach Service Plus which provides counselling services for children, families and communities affected by the trauma associated with child abuse and neglect.

Evaluation of the NT Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Investment Strategy

An independent evaluation of the NT CQI Investment Strategy commenced in August 2012 and the reports of that evaluation are now available via the following links:

Evaluation of the Child Health Check and the Expanding Health Service Delivery Initiatives

An independent evaluation of these initiatives commenced in June 2009 and the reports of that evaluation are available via the following links: Further information about the evaluation is available from Allen+Clarke.Top of page

Final reports on data collected—Oral and Hearing health programs

The final report for the Northern Territory Emergency Response Child Health Check Initiative—Follow-up services for oral and ear health—August 2007 to June 2012 is available from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) website. The purpose of this report is to provide information on the delivery of dental, audiology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) services provided through the Closing the Gap—Northern Territory—National Partnership Agreement between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments. It updates data previously published on services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who live in the remote communities and town camps prescribed through the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). This report covers the period from August 2007 to June 2012.

For enquiries, or if you have difficulties accessing the above reports, please email IRHD enquiries or phone 02 6289 5291.Top of page

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