We’re working to improve health outcomes for people in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, who experience significant health inequalities across a number of indicators, resulting in poorer life expectancy than the population as a whole.
The Integrated Team Care (ITC) program works to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in South East Queensland have the best possible access to appropriate health services.
It also provides care coordination services to eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease who require coordinated, multidisciplinary care.
Delivered by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the program is provided by a team of Indigenous Health Project Officers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outreach Workers and Care Coordinators.
During 2019/20, IUIH’s ITC activity delivered services to 780 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with 197 being new this year.
The ITC team also facilitated a cultural awareness training session with 23 participants from across the region, with later 2020 sessions being cancelled due to COVID-19.
Funded by the PHN, social health services are provided via the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Services (ATSICHSs) at Caboolture, Deception Bay, Margate, Morayfield, Northgate and Strathpine.
ATSICHSs are a one-stop shop for whole-of-life healthcare, with GPs, dentists, child health clinics, optometrists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, dieticians, aged care services, psychologists, counsellors, and more.
Mental health is just one aspect that is embedded into the IUIH system of care and the Social Health team work with people presenting with mental health issues. The team includes care coordinators, outreach workers, mentors, social workers, addiction medicine specialist, counsellors and psychologists who provide a bridge between ATSICHs and people’s care needs.
From January to the end of June 2020, 873 clients were supported by IUIH’s Social Health team.
Each year, we bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service providers to learn more about the ITC Activity, share information and network.
This year, the forum was cancelled due to the pandemic and a workforce mental health virtual workshop took place instead in October 2020.
Since January 2018, the PHN have been commissioning outreach health services into Zillmere’s Koobara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Kindergarten and Preschool, and C&K Caboolture Community Kindergarten and Preschool.
The program supported 122 children via group or individual sessions, with 153 referrals made to other services, including local GPs, audiologists and paediatricians.
In September 2019, the Queensland PHNs joined with the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) to sign an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Canberra at the National PHN Conference.
This MOU signing saw leaders from all seven PHNs across Queensland and QAIHC join forces and commit to working together to improve Indigenous health in Queensland.
It is the first type of agreement in Australia between a peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisation and multiple PHNs and is based on shared principles, mutual recognition, and supports future collaboration between the two parties.
Pictured at the National PHN Conference in September 2019: Queensland PHN CEOs and Board Chairs including Brisbane North PHN Board Chair, Dr Anita Green, Brisbane North PHN CEO, Abbe Anderson, QAIHC Chairperson, Gail Wason and QAIHC CEO, Neil Willmett.