Ms Anais Le Gall1, Ms Melissa Morthorpe1, Ms Sharon Storen1
1Capital Health Network – ACT Primary Health Network, Deakin, Australia
In an effort to assist health professionals in supporting patients who self-identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, the ACT & SNSW HealthPathways program recently partnered with the Indigenous Health teams employed by the ACT (Capital Health Network) and SENSW (COORDINARE) Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to localise a suite of eight Aboriginal HealthPathways.
A key component of the newly developed Aboriginal Health pathways is to provide health professionals with further guidance on the Closing the Gap health initiatives. The Closing the Gap health initiatives are national initiatives targeted to address experiences of socioeconomic disadvantage and health inequity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities such as, Closing the Gap Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Measure, Health Assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (MBS Item 715), Integrated Team Care, Practice Incentive Program – Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP-IHI) and MBS items for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care.
In the ACT and SNSW the responsibility largely falls on Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and primary and allied health care professionals to navigate participation in the initiatives. It is therefore integral that information is provided in a way that is clearly structured, easier to find, written by health professionals for health professionals and can be utilised at the point of care.
The intention of developing individual pathways that address specific Closing the Gap health initiatives is to support an extension to the scope of practice and level of cultural awareness and safety in the primary and allied health care workforce.
Anais is a registered nurse with over 20 years experience working in the acute and community setting in ACT, NSW and the UK. Her work in NGOs over the last 6 years, has provided her an opportunity to gain an insight into the primary care environment and integrated health needs. Her current position at CHN as the Senior Manager Health System Improvement, includes overseeing Indigenous Health, Digital Health and the HealthPathways program.