1Mackay Hospital & Health Service,
It is well known that there exists a gap in health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. With higher rates than non-indigenous Australians of chronic disease, morbidity and mortality, access to primary healthcare for indigenous people living with chronic disease is crucial. At a regional North Queensland local hospital over 50% of acute admissions for indigenous people that are potentially preventable are attributed to chronic disease. Of those, the highest rates are in patients with complications of diabetes (27.6%), respiratory disease (16.3%), and cardiac conditions (9.8%). In response to growing concerns that existing services were not meeting the community needs, a community based service with a multidisciplinary care model was introduced. The aims of the service were to improve care coordination and access to allied health and specialist services for indigenous people with chronic conditions living in the local area, and to provide prevention and early detection activities for the wider indigenous community. In view of the high rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations due to diabetes complications, cardiac and respiratory conditions, clinic based and home visiting services for dietetics and podiatry were the first allied health services to be implemented. The purpose of this presentation is to share the challenges and successes of the Potentially Preventable Hospitalisations Team, and to highlight potential future opportunities for improving access to chronic disease care for indigenous people in regional communities.
Biography: To be confirmed