Improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Western NSW is the number one strategic goal of WNSW PHN.
WNSW PHN is committed to improving the health outcomes for all indigenous residents through enhanced delivery and access to programs and services. Our firm focus is on putting people and their health outcomes as our top priority for all the work we do.
We have heard and understand the public disquiet that has been generated by Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation since the commencement of the review and co-design process for the revised Integrated Team Care (ITC) Program that is to come into full effect as of January 1, 2023.
The existing ITC Program, funded by the Australian Government, has been delivered by Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation since 2016 under the Marrabinya name.
WNSW PHN has never planned, at any time, to cancel or de-fund the ITC Program.
WNSW PHN regularly undertakes program reviews to ensure the effectiveness of the programs we fund in providing real benefits to our region’s residents.
The existing ITC Program’s revision followed region-wide stakeholder and community consultations that were undertaken between July 2021 and February 2022 that identified several improvement areas required to deliver better outcomes for patients.
Areas of the program identified for improvement included the inclusion of care coordination to aid patients to navigate often complex pathways to the level of care each person requires, including gaining access to specialist services.
Local delivery of the program was also identified as being vital for residents to ensure the service can be tailored to specific community and individual requirements, while also aligning with ITC Program Guidelines.
Both measures have been identified as being able to boost the effectiveness of the ITC Program and result in more people getting access to the chronic disease care they require and enjoying improved health and wellbeing.
The region’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and other key stakeholders have been involved in the co-design of the revised program.
All AMSs within the WNSW PHN region have now been offered a direct contract to manage the delivery of service directly to their patients, while also having the option to contract other organisations to deliver the service on their behalf.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with a Chronic Illness will be able to access the ITC Program from January 1, 2023, via their local AMS, and WNSW PHN is now working with the following service providers already having secured their contract to provide the program:
- Bourke Aboriginal Corporation Health Service
- Walgett Aboriginal Corporation Health Service – Walgett and Brewarrina
- Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service Inc
- Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation
- Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service Limited
- Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation - Broken Hill
- Orange Aboriginal Medical Service
- Peak Hill Aboriginal Medical Services
- Yoorana Gunya Family Healing Centre Aboriginal Corporation - Forbes
Discussions are continuing with one final AMS that is also set to join the program.
In addition to this, WNSW PHN is also currently seeking providers via a tender process which has opened this week to offer additional access points to care through the ITC Program.
The Marrabinya Program is continuing with full funding to the end of December 2022 when the new ITC Program will become fully operational to ensure no disruption to services.
WNSW PHN thanks those have that contacted us with their concerns regarding the Marrabinya Program. We appreciate that so many of our residents are just as invested as we are in seeing constant improvements in the delivery and access to programs and services that benefit the health and wellbeing of people living in our region.
WNSW PHN appreciates the work of Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation in its delivery of the Marrabinya Program, and we look forward to continuing our long relationship in working together to a healthier future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Western NSW.
WNSW PHN CEO
More details on the WNSW PHN ITC Program can be found at https://wnswphn.org.au/itc.