New mobile clinic supporting better health outcomes in remote communities

First Nations people in Central Australia are receiving better health services with a new custom built 4WD mobile clinic to support the treatment, education and management of diabetes in remote communities.

Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health

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First Nations people in Central Australia are receiving better health services with a new custom built 4WD mobile clinic to support the treatment, education and management of diabetes in remote communities. 

The new mobile clinic is being run by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress which has reported a 67 per cent increase of Type 2 diabetes in the region over the last 25 years.

Congress is partnering with Pintupi Homelands Health Service, Urapuntja Health Service and Ampilatwatja Health Centre, to deliver podiatry consultations and treatment and diabetes education in 8 remote communities:

  • Amoonguna
  • Mutitjulu
  • Ntaria (Hermannsburg)
  • Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa)
  • Utju (Areyonga) 
  • Ampilatwatja
  • Urapuntja Homelands (Utopia), and 
  • Walungurru (Kintore) 

Funded through a $456,000 grant from the Aboriginals Benefits Account, the new mobile clinic provides two comfortable, private and wheelchair accessible treatment areas. 

The mobile clinic’s podiatrist and diabetes educator will travel to communities for between 3 and 5 days every 8 weeks to support better follow-up treatment. 

Professional development opportunities for remote health care workers are also being provided by the mobile clinic and staff, further strengthening diabetes management and awareness in remote communities. 

Training includes disease focused foot checks and wound management, ensuring better support for the community when the mobile health clinic is in other regions. 

The initiative will help in efforts to close the gap on health and life expectancy, by providing First Nations people in remote communities better access to specialised health care. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney

“Diabetes is one of the biggest contributors to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“This is such an important initiative to give people living in remote Central Australian communities better access to specialist health care.

Quotes attributable to Senator Malarndirri McCarthy:

Diabetes is a significant issue in Central Australia, so it’s great to see this initiative roll out in 8 communities.

“This will give people better access to clinical care and raise awareness about the condition.”

Quotes attributable to Congress Allied Health Manager Andrew Jolly

“We’re proud to deliver the mobile clinic which enables our allied health professionals to deliver stronger diabetes management and support, even in some of the most remote places. 

“The mobile clinic is a practical initiative that helps to bridge the gap in health care accessibility in a setting where people feel comfortable, ensuring more remote communities have what they need for better health and wellbeing.”

Quotes attributable to Urapuntja Health Service CEO Melissa Hinson

“We’re a high demand central clinic that cares for people across fourteen Homelands, this provides unique challenges with a strong reliance on drivers, good weather and running vehicles to ensure access to healthcare. 

“The future of medicine in our region is anchored in accessible service delivery that respects community needs. We know that people in our setting need health services delivered in the community they call home, and this new service does just that.”

Quotes attributable to Urapuntja Health Service practitioner trainee Nellasha Stirling

“A truck like this is important to help Indigenous people with diabetes, to be seen in their community, people often don’t have transport to get to clinic or town appointments.”

Quotes attributable to Urapuntja Health Service practitioner trainee Nicole Jones

“Sometimes for people, they don’t want to go to a new place, in a new environment. They want to stay where they know the lands. It’s alright when you have the truck there in their community.” 

Quotes attributable to Urapuntja Health Service practitioner trainee Tessa Ross

“Urapuntja clinic staff can use the truck and join the visiting health people, learning new skills to use in the community.”

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