Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience significantly worse health outcomes than non-indigenous Australians.
Two new Priority Issues Papers released by Gippsland Primary Health Network provide a snapshot of the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in Gippsland. They include statistics in comparison to the rest of the state, barriers to accessing health care and support services across the region.
Gippsland PHN Chief Executive, Amanda Proposch, said the under-identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream health services and national health data sets was a fundamental barrier to achieving health equality for all Australians.
“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia has historically had, and continues to have, significantly worse health outcomes than the general Australian population,” Ms Proposch said.
A series of videos has now been produced by Gippsland PHN to assist general practice in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A video called ‘Ask the question’ provides the skills and knowledge for general practice staff in how to ask patients whether they identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. In turn, this enables clinicians to direct those patients to additional services they may be entitled to receive.
Ms Proposch said it was important for health professionals to be aware if a person identified as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.