Historically, the Closing the Gap Strategy arose from the Closing the Gap Campaign, which was a campaign designed to increase the profile of the findings of the Social Justice Report of 2005 by the then Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma. The campaign gained traction through support of the community, and supported by over 40 organisations. The campaign began as the National Indigenous Health Equality Campaign, which was formed in March 2006 by these organisations:
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
- Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)
- Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)
- Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia (IDAA)
- Oxfam Australia
- Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR).
The Coalition of Australian Governments in 2007 had committed to a strategy named Closing the Gap and had designed National Partnership responses as a result.
Integrated Team Care is one of four responses by the CTG Strategy: Tackling Indigenous Chronic Disease developed through the Coalition of Australian Governments and funded through the Indigenous Australians Health Programme.
The Chronic Disease Package of the Closing the Gap Strategy currently incorporates the following:
- Practice Incentive Programs for GPs
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – CTG
- Specialist Outreach Programs
- Integrated Team Care Activity
ITC is formerly the Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Health Program and Care Coordination and Supplementary Services Program. Both programs have been integrated to deliver a coordinated team approach.
The purpose of Integrated Team Care is to:
- Contribute to improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic health conditions through better access to coordinated and multidisciplinary care; and
- Contribute to closing the gap in life expectancy by improved access to culturally appropriate mainstream primary care services (including but not limited to general practice, allied health and specialists) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
There are three main resources which deliver this purpose across country South Australia and includes:
- Are qualified health workers and registered nurses.
- Work with their clients to assist in accessing all the care needed to improve health.
- Help clients arrange appointments with doctors and other health care providers.
- Work closely with GPs to develop treatment plans for clients.
- Link in with other health care and support workers to make sure services are coordinated.
- Provide information about chronic conditions and other health concerns.
- Attend appointments with clients.
- Help with accessing medications.
- Can access funding to help clients receive the health care they need in a timely way.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers
- Provide practical assistance to Aboriginal people to attend appointments and access health services.
- Assist the Care Coordinators to support patients with their health assessments/care plans.
- Establish links with local Aboriginal communities to encourage and support the increased use of health services.
- Liaise with health providers including GPs, Aboriginal Health Workers and administrative staff to support referral pathways.
- Assist to develop and distribute information and resources to the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about available health services.
Indigenous Health Project Officers
- Promote Closing the Gap to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities and health service providers.
- Work with mainstream primary health care providers to deliver culturally sensitive primary care services.
- Increase uptake of Indigenous specific MBS items, including Indigenous health checks and follow-up items.
- Advocate for clients in the health system.
- Coordinate cultural awareness training.
As the Country SA PHN are a commissioning body, these services are delivered by a range of local service providers. Please see the table below to find your local provider.
|Region||Service Provider||Contact Details|
|Far West Coast||Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service||Ph: (08) 8626 2500
Fax: (08) 8626 2530
Service Location: 1 Eyre Hwy Ceduna, SA 5690
|Southern Eyre||Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service||Ph: (08) 8683 0162
Fax: (08) 8683 0126
Service Location: 19A Oxford Terrace, Port Lincoln SA 5606
|Port Augusta and Flinders
Whyalla and Upper Eyre
|Country and Outback Health||Ph: (08) 8643 5600
Fax (08) 8642 3766
Service Location: 12 Chapel Street, Port Augusta SA 5700
|Coober Pedy and Surrounds||Umoona Tjutagku Health Service Aboriginal Corporation||Ph: (08) 8672 5255
Fax: (08) 8672 3349
Service Location: 8 Umoona Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723
|Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands||Nganampa Health Council||Ph: (08) 8954 9040
Fax: (08) 8956 7850
Service Location: Umuwa
|Barossa, Gawler, Yorke and Mid North||Northern Health Network||Ph: (08) 8209 0700
Fax: (08) 8252 9433
Service Location: 2 Peachey Road, Edinburgh North SA 5113
|Murray Mallee incorporating Fleurieu||Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service||Ph: (08) 8531 0289
Service Location: 2 Clara Street, Murray Bridge, SA 5253
|Riverland||Riverland Division of General Practice||Ph: (08) 8582 3823
Fax: (08) 8582 3190
Service Location: 3 Riverview Drive, Berri, SA, 5343
|South East||Pangula Mannamurna Inc||Ph: (08) 8724 7270
Fax: (08) 8724 7378
Service Location: 191 Commercial St West, Mount Gambier SA 5290
There are a range of information and resources available to assist in improving mainstream services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.