Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is among the priority targets for Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN). As such, we are committed to projects and initiatives which support efforts to close the gap and improve health outcomes for our indigenous communities.
GP referral templates
General practitioners are encouraged to use GP Referral templates as these templates reference whether a patient is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This then ensures the patient can access government subsidies and programs relevant to them.
If a referral template is not available for your health region, please ensure you identify whether your patient is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander when sending the referral to another health practitioner.
Asking the question
WVPHN in conjunction with health practitioners is developing a package of resources to help clinicians talk with their patients about whether they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
For more details, refer to the Asking the Question web page.
Reconciliation action plan
Work has begun on creating a Reconciliation Action Plan to provide direction for improving Aboriginal and Torres Islander health in western Victoria.
WVPHN is working with relevant health and indigenous services to identify the goals, tasks and actions which reflect community aspirations for enhancing indigenous health outcomes.
Tulku Wan Winnin (Health to you) van
WVPHN has helped fund a new mobile health service in the Wimmera Grampians area.
The Budja Budja Medical Clinic launched the Tulku Wan Winnin (Health To You) Van in September 2019 as a joint initiative with Deakin Rural Health.
The van travels to Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud, Maryborough, Avoca and surrounds offering free, bulk-billed health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age.
Services include general health, chronic disease, and social and emotional wellbeing support. Allied health services are also involved. The van can visit patients in their homes, at schools or at community centres.
Integrated team care program
We work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) across the region to deliver the Integrated Team Care (ITC) Program.
The ITC Program aims to improve access to primary health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by offering care coordination and supplementary services to support people with chronic conditions. It ensures patients can access affordable medicines, transport services for medical appointments, medical aids and access to wider array of community services.
The program also funds Outreach Workers for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to increase access to medical appointments.
ACCHOs delivering ITC across our region:
- Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative
- Budja Budja Medical Clinic (Halls Gap)
- Dhauwurd-Wurrung Elderly and Community Health Services (Portland)
- Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Cooperative (Horsham)
- Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative (Warrnambool)
- Kirrae Health Services (Wangoom)
- Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative (Geelong)
- Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation (Heywood)
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service has established Yarning SafeNStrong: a free and confidential counselling service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The service is available to people and families who need to have a yarn with someone about their wellbeing.
Contact Western Victoria PHN’s Indigenous Heath Project Officer Adam Muir
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: 03 5222 0833