What is Closing the Gap?

Closing the Gap is a commitment by all Australian governments to work together across all departments to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous Australians.

There are six specific targets

  • to close the life expectancy gap within a generation
  • to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five in a decade
  • to ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities within five years
  • to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children within a decade
  • to halve the gap in Indigenous Year 12 achievement by 2020
  • to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non indigenous Australians within a decade

SWMML support for Healthcare Professionals

Care Coordination and Supplementary Services program (CCSS)

The main role of the CCSS Program is to improve chronic disease prevention and management for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s by enabling better access to allied health and specialist services.

The CCSS program works to identify barriers restricting access to services, provide information about the services available within the region, encourages and supports patients to access related health services as identified on their care plan, and assists patients to attend appointments and access recommended care.

Patients in the CCSS program may access supplementary services funding, which can be used flexibly when there is a barrier to care. This may be a lack of available appointments with a publicly funded providor to access affordable local transport to attend appointments. Supplementary services funding is limited and should be used when responding to urgent needs.

For more information click here or contact Alex Rojas or call 8731 6540

Aboriginal Outreach Officer

Our Aboriginal Outreach Officer helps local Indigenous Australians make better use of available health care services.

The Aboriginal Outreach Officer can assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to

  • access health care providers in the local area that understand and work with issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • provide assistance to navigate the health care system and health services
  • assist with practical issues such as making and attending appointments and finding GPs, allied health professionals and specialist care in the region

For more information click here or contact Darleen Christensen or call 8731 6513

 Primary Care Liaison Officer - Closing the Gap

Our Closing the Gap Primary Care Liason officer works to reduce barriers to the use of local health services by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Hobsons Bay and Wyndham by:

  • improving the capacity of mainstream primary care to deliver culturally sensitive  services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
  • reducing  high chronic disease rates in the Indigenous community by raising awareness of the Close the Gap program including use of the Indigenous Health Incentive(IHI) and the PBS Co Payment  measures available to local mainstream health services and the Indigenous community
  • providing access to RACGP accredited Cultural Awareness Training which can be via  “Face to Face” or online services to satisfy the Indigenous Health Incentive requirements
  • encouraging uptake of Aboriginal health assessments, providing information on related MBS items to identify and reduce incidence of chronic disease or risk factors
  • working in conjunction with the SWMML - Aboriginal Outreach Officer and Care Coordinator to improve health outcomes and relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  

Cultural Awareness Training

Our committment to improving the knowledge of local health care professionals and making access to care for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders involves workshops on Cultural Awareness for health care professionals.

Participants will

  • extend their knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture
  • explore how attitudes and values can influence perceptions, assumptions and behaviours in a clinical setting
  • discuss key issues facing the practice team and Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander peoples

For more information click here or contact Ron Hanniver or call 8731 6516

Other useful links

Aboriginal Health - Department of Health, Victorian Government

Closing the Gap - FaHCSIA, Federal Government