The need to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to choose and adopt culturally appropriate healthy lifestyles and manage chronic conditions is a priority for the Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN). Developing strong partnerships with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and key service providers is critical to supporting better health outcomes for these members of our community.
Integrated Team Care
In 2016, The Commonwealth Department of Health combined the Care Coordination and Supplementary Services (CCSS) and the Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care (IIAMPC) programs to form the Integrated Team Care (ITC) program.
CCSS and IIAMPC programs have been in place in some communities in the WNSW PHN region for several years. These programs highlighted the benefit of integrated Indigenous health teams meeting local needs and providing support through multidisciplinary care.
The ITC program builds on, and formalises, this team approach so that patients will be supported across the full pathway of care, from encouragement and assistance to accessing health care through to provision of multidisciplinary care.
From 1 November 2016, Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation, in conjunction with Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Services Inc. will work together to implement the ITC program in the Western and Far West regions of NSW with their newly created Indigenous Health Support Service (IHSS). The service can be contacted on 1800 940 757.
Operating as a brokerage service, the IHSS will introduce its service to General Practices in western NSW currently caring for Aboriginal people under Care Coordination and Supplementary Services and Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream Primary Care.
GPs with an Aboriginal patient eligible for the ITC program will work with the relevant Care Coordinator to continue the management of current patient support services.
IHSS provides support to both mainstream health providers and Aboriginal community controlled sectors to ensure patient access to a comprehensive array of services. IHSS will be working with current providers Marathon Health and ODGP to develop a transition plan for patients, and service continuity from 1 November. The WNSW PHN is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all stakeholders during the changeover period.
General Practice: For more information on ITC, please refer to the letter sent to GPs on 22 September 2016.
IHSS Fact Sheet for GPs: For more information on the IHSS, please refer to the fact sheet.
Important Information for Patients: For more information on ITC, please refer to the fact sheet for patients.