Greater capacity and capabilities for Western NSW Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents living with chronic disease will be delivered by the revised Integrated Team Care (ITC) Program that comes into effect on January 1.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) is currently working with and supporting Western NSW AMSs to ensure the program is set for full implementation by the beginning of the new calendar year.
The existing ITC Program has been delivered by Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation since 2016 under the Marrabinya name, but is being revised following an extensive review, consultation and co-design process that commenced in July 2021.
WNSW PHN CEO Andrew Coe, says that patients accessing the existing program are the priority focus as the transition of services takes place.
“Patients receiving care can rest assured that at no time has WNSW PHN planned to defund the ITC Program. Maari Ma has been provided with full funding to continue delivering the existing ITC Program under the Marrabinya name through to the end of December (2022) and we will be collaborating diligently with the existing and new service providers to make sure the experience of patients is as smooth as possible during this transition period.”
“As a commissioner of services, it is our responsibility to conduct regular reviews of all services that we commission to ensure they’re delivering in the best possible way for our region’s residents and their care outcomes, and where opportunities for improvements have been identified, to implement those efficiently and effectively.”
“We are very excited that the revised ITC Program is giving us the opportunity to support the enhancement of capacity and capability in our region’s Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) and deliver even better health outcomes for Indigenous people living with chronic disease in Western NSW,” said Mr Coe.
CEO of Coonamble, Dubbo and Gilgandra AMSs, Phil Naden, has welcomed the funding from WNSW PHN for the ITC Program.
“I’m looking forward to a strengthened approach in working with WNSW PHN and I’m keen to commence the project in our locations to service Aboriginal Clients in the region.”
CEO of Orange AMS, Jamie Newman, says the revised ITC Program presents a powerful opportunity for providers and people in their care.
“Our organisation is very excited by the ‘place based’ approach by WNSW PHN for the ITC Program and the disbursement of funds to each AMS in the region. We are ultimately responsible for the care and treatment of our clients in Orange and to have the authority to make a decision on additional support for our clients who meet the ITC criteria is welcomed and supported by our team”.
CEO of Walgett AMS (WAMS), Christine Corby, and Chief Operations Manager for WAMS and Brewarrina AMS (BAMS), Katrina Ward, say the revised ITC Program is guaranteed to benefit local people accessing care.
“WAMS recognise the financial impost for some of their clients to receive allied health and specialist care outside of their place of residence. The ITC Program will enable clients to access much-needed care, which would not necessarily be available to them,” said Ms Corby.
Ms Ward said, “Brewarrina AMS is pleased to be able to provide the ITC Program offered by WNSW PHN to our local and surrounding communities. BAMS will continue to support our clients in accessing services to improve chronic illness outcomes.”
Mr Coe added “We remain thankful to Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation for its delivery of the ITC Program since 2016 and to those that have that contacted us with their concerns regarding the program. We appreciate that you 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.”
All information and regular updates regarding the ITC Program are available on the WNSW PHN website, at https://wnswphn.org.au/itc.