The Primary Health Care Activity (PHC Activity) is a component of the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP), which aims to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to effective health care services in urban, regional, rural and remote locations across the nation. The PHC Activity provides grant funding to a range of organisations including Aboriginal community controlled health organisations (ACCHOs), to support and deliver comprehensive, culturally appropriate primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and provide system-level support to the Indigenous primary health care sector.
Ear and eye health
Activities to improve the eye and ear health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians include:
- Multilateral Trachoma Project Agreement – Trachoma, a bacterial eye infection, occurs mainly in remote and very remote Indigenous communities. Funding is provided to state and territory government in WA, SA, NT and NSW to undertake trachoma screening and treatment activities, in line with the National Guidelines for the Public Management of Trachoma in Australia. (This Agreement whilst part of the activities to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, it should be noted is not part of the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme).
- Trachoma Surveillance and Monitoring – Australia is a signatory to the World Health Organisation’s Alliance for Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 and is required to regularly provide data about trachoma prevalence. Funding is provided to operate the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit (NTSRU). The NTSRU is currently operated by The Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.
- Indigenous Eye Health Unit (IEHU), University of Melbourne – the IEHU is funded to support a range of activities to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
- Healthy Ears - Better Hearing, Better Listening Programme – improves access to ear and hearing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth, with a focus on rural and remote locations. The programme supports multidisciplinary outreach services provided by a range of health professionals, including medical specialists, GPs, nurses, audiologists and speech pathologists.
- Care for Kids’ Ears – aims to prevent avoidable hearing loss by providing a range of resources to increase awareness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians of risk factors for ear disease and the importance of seeking and following treatment regimes. Further information is available at the Care for Kids’ Ears website.
Healthy for Life
The 2014 Federal Budget included $36.232 million over three years to expand the Healthy for Life program, which aims to improve clinical care in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). The Government has committed funding (through the expansion of the Healthy for Life program) to support the implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care.
Funding is being provided to ACCHS, who provide primary health care services, to undertake CQI activities in their organisations. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the State and Territory Peak Body organisations are also being funded to support ACCHS to embed CQI within their services.Top of page