Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Indigenous health and related services

Department of Health and Ageing; Department of the Treasury

Key Elements

The Australian Government will provide $131.1 million over three years to fund increased primary health care and health-related services as part of the Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory.
In particular, the measure provides for continued regional reform of remote Indigenous primary care health services to ensure they provide comprehensive and coordinated care. Through the continued operation of the Remote Area Health Corps, the measure will also deliver and support more doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

The measure also provides for the completion of follow up services for dental and ear, nose and throat conditions that were identified through Northern Territory Emergency Response child health checks. In addition, the measure provides for the expansion of the current Mobile Outreach Service to respond to child abuse-related trauma and for the continuation of alcohol and other drug treatment and rehabilitation services.

Through these elements, the measure will assist in closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous child mortality and life expectancy outcomes.

Background

The NTER child health checks identified a large unmet need for primary health care services, with over 88 per cent of children having one or more health conditions identified and over 69 per cent of children receiving referrals for follow up care.

Many of the health conditions identified through the health checks can be prevented or moderated in their impact by primary health care.

Primary health care service delivery for Indigenous Australians in remote Northern Territory communities continues to require expansion to ensure there is access to services and enough health professionals to deliver care. Continued alcohol and other drug treatment services are also needed.

Indigenous Australians living in remote areas of the Northern Territory will benefit through the continued expansion of primary health care and also through the expected completion of child health check follow up care, and through expanded child abuse-related trauma services and continued alcohol and other drug treatment services.

The initiative builds on Government funding to deliver child health checks and follow up care to expand primary health care for remote Northern Territory Indigenous communities.

Implementation

The measure will commence from July 2009. It is being delivered through contracts and associated payments with Northern Territory health service providers and other organisations.

Total Government Funding

The Government is providing $131.1 million over three years for this measure.

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