Increasing testing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
The NATSISH and BBV Strategy recommends several initiatives to increase hepatitis C testing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Techniques to improve access to testing should include:
- staff development for workers in primary health care services through dissemination of information and facilitating access to new testing and treatment regimes;
- improved linkages between service providers, including linkages between ACCHSs and mainstream services, as well as those between primary health care and specialist and tertiary services; and
- ensuring access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to technological advances and their application in clinical care.
- national surveillance data used to inform priority groups to be targeted for screening programs;
- continual expansion of comprehensive primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ;
- increased collaboration and partnership between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health services to increase capacity to priority groups; and
- ensuring community education and consultation is undertaken, and appropriate consent is given by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples prior to conducting population based screening.
- dissemination of information on new testing and treatment regimens to Aboriginal community controlled health organisations, mainstream health services and community based organisations;
- support for research into the development of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests suitable for use in remote locations; and
- investigation of the use of new point of care testing technologies in different settings.