Aboriginal Health

The Country SA and Adelaide PHNs are committed to working closely with Aboriginal communities and organisations, to strengthen local voices and championing change for an improved health care system. PHNs will drive improved coordination in primary health care and ensure that services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities.

Country SA PHN has established focussed Aboriginal health portfolios, with teams who have skills and experience developing and delivering Aboriginal health services.

These teams identify health issues at a local level and then work to improve outcomes – through the better coordination of existing services or by filling gaps in the current system. As part of this, our focus is to work across all health sectors with a commitment to working in partnership with the Aboriginal community, Aboriginal organisations and health care providers to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our work is guided by a clear approach and clear objectives, with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities at the centre of everything we do.

Working with Aboriginal Health Organisations

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in South Australia are recognised as:

  • Providing culturally safe environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access health services.
  • Having service delivery models that are different to the way mainstream services provide services including addressing social determinants of inequitable health outcomes.
  • Understanding and addressing some of the social determinants that act as barriers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from accessing health services.
  • Having significant evidence bases in which service delivery is built upon.
  • Providing key links between mainstream health services and their community.
  • Working in remote and difficult situations servicing the most disadvantaged people in Australia.

Country SA PHN work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in country South Australia to deliver local solutions to national problems. The Department of Health have provided a set of guiding principles in which to work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations which set the platform for working together.

Resources for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO)

Country SA PHN Resources

Business Tool Kit

Country SA PHN are developing a tool kit to assist Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in fast tracking business planning. It will be available soon.

CAT Plus Software

The Performance, Quality and Information team of Country SA PHN provide support to General Practices and participating Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations with improved data management through the CAT PLUS software. This includes the provision of a licence agreement managed by the Country SA PHN for all GP and ACCHO practices. This software is an extraction tool that improves administration times in reporting. It is a tool that is available within Country SA PHN agreements for organisations to take advantage. Software included in the CAT PLUS pertains to all programs and features of the:

  1. Clinical Audit Tool (CAT4)
  2. Practice Aggregation Tool (PAT CAT)
  3. Topbar

Need Support?

If your organisation would like additional support please contact the Aboriginal Health Policy team for further assistance.

Other Resources and Information

Flinders Closing The Gap (CTG) Chronic Disease Management

The Flinders CTG Chronic Disease Management provides practitioners a way to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve the self-management of their chronic disease. It is completed in a culturally responsive format and is an adaptation of the Flinders CCM Program.

Guide for Managers
Guide for Practitioners

CSAPHN encourages health service providers to utilise this tool kit however it is not a requirement to obtain funding.


QUMAX is the Quality Use of Medicines Maximised for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, which aims to improve quality use of medicines and contribute to positive health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, of any age, who present at participating Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHOs).

QUMAX is a collaboration between the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGoA) and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA).

Who is eligible?

The QUMAX Programme is intended to benefit Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people of any age who present to participating ACCHOs and are assessed by prescribers to be at risk of adverse health outcomes from a failure to comply with their medicine regime without assistance.

QUM Support Categories

There are seven categories:

  1. Dose Administration Aid (DAA) arrangements
  2. QUM pharmacy support
  3. Home Medicines Review (HMR) models of support
  4. QUM devices
  5. QUM education
  6. Cultural awareness
  7. Transport

ACCHO’s registered for both QUMAX and ITC services and resources need to prevent service duplication through ensuring that QUMAX is used as according to their QUM Work Plan. It is a requirement for ITC Supplementary Services funding that all other avenues must be exhausted before using the funding. Where there are gaps in support for devices the use of ITC Supplementary Services may be used.

General Practitioners can refer their Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander patients who have a chronic disease to the Integrated Team Care Services for further assistance in medical aids and dose administration aids.

Funding with Country SA PHN

While Country SA PHN provide direct commissioning processes for specific Aboriginal Health funding, Aboriginal organisations are encouraged to register with Tenderlink e-procurement portal in order to access all available funding with Country SA PHN.  Through this portal you will be automatically notified of any updates, and you will be able to assess whether funding areas are suitable to your organisation’s needs.

Aboriginal Health Policy and Research

Country SA PHN work closely with Professional Research bodies to:

  • Look at the implications of research and what that may mean to services on the ground.
  • Look at areas where there are known gaps
  • Look at past and present researched responses to ensure gaps within the primary health care sector being addressed accordingly.
  • Ensure research outcomes are applied within an Aboriginal context encompassing self-management and self-determination within a holistic health framework

Country SA PHN work closely with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in the connection between Aboriginal Health research and policy. The Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Theme provide invaluable information to support the strategic direction of Aboriginal health policy in country South Australia.

Point of care testing has been cited by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute as a response that will contribute greatly to early intervention strategies and has a significant body of evidence surrounding its effectiveness. A current scoping exercise is being undertaken in Point of Care Testing Units for interested Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. If your organisation is interested in Point of Care Testing, please contact Anthea Kemp, Research Officer, Aboriginal Health Policy to talk further about Point of Care Testing and what it means for your organisation.

Aboriginal Health has a national policy framework that is delivered through the National Partnership Agreements between the Australian Government and the States and Territories of Australia. This agreement has a supporting National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, delivered by the Department of Health and guides all activities in Australia. The Implementation Plan has also been provided to assist further in the implementation of these policies.  There are further plans which provide responses to specific health responses, including the National Diabetes Strategy.

The South Australian Department of Health  provides a policy framework in line with these plans and further expands on priorities for South Australia.

In addition, and in conjunction with SAHMRI there are three major plans which focus on priority areas of both the Australian and South Australian Government. These include:

Additional Resources