Indigenous Health Resources

RVTS registrars work in Aboriginal Medical Services and rural and remote practices all over Australia, working in a broad range of environments, settings, services and health care delivery models and systems. A large proportion of patients cared for identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

This month we look at some useful resources that can assist in caring for Indigenous Australians. Knowing where to access culturally appropriate resources is essential in delivering high quality care, and we’ll be discussing a few of these useful sites. These resources assist health professionals better manage and improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is an excellent internet resource making Indigenous health research and knowledge easily accessible. The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is a ‘one-stop info-shop’ for information on all aspects of Aboriginal Health issues, policies, services, provision and education. http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au

Another great resource is the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited, which have a comprehensive list of Clinical protocols and guidelines: http://kams.org.au/resources/clinical-protocols-guidelines/

The CARPA website has online Remote Primary Health Care Manuals which are highly respected manuals applicable in Indigenous and remote primary health care in Australia. I’ve only recently discovered this website, and the resources are invaluable, for studying and for primary care. http://remotephcmanuals.com.au/home.html

Specifically for cardiovascular and renal health resources, the following two are recommended from the Heart Foundation and Kidney Health Australia:

Heart foundation have recommendations and resources specifi for Aboriginal Health https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/resources-for-aboriginal-health

Kidney Health Australia also has great resources and material for health professionals, with culturally sensitive material promoting healthy lifestyle and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, but with a kidney focus. http://kidney.org.au/advocacy/guidance-and-tools/indigenous-health/resources-for-health-professionals

The Departments of Human Services has some useful resources including an eLearning programme titled “Indigenous health education for health professionals”. This program provides an introduction to the range of Medicare services that support Indigenous health. The site also has education guides which include case studies, devised to support health professionals providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. https://www.humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/subjects/indigenous-health-education-health-professionals

The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has a section ‘Aboriginal Health Resources’ which has some good resources including useful fact sheets that can be used as patient hand outs https://www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/aboriginal-health

NACCHO is the national peak body representing over 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues. Resources like National Guidelines and Annual Reports can be found on their website: http://www.naccho.org.au

The e-learning resources provided by the Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) are excellent. The suite of online eLearning modules has been developed to increase awareness about various aspects of working within remote Indigenous communities for those who have worked primarily in urban-based settings. Review the modules on their website: http://www.rahc.com.au/elearning.

For more useful information and interesting reading, take a look at the Indigenous Allied Health Australia website: http://iaha.com.au. This may be of special interest to allied health workers and those who oversee Aboriginal Health Workers.

And don’t forget the colleges: both the ACRRM and the RACGP websites have great resources on Aboriginal health.

In addition to all these useful online resources, local Health Pathways and local chronic disease care coordination services can be very useful. Usually referral centres also have excellent resources. Touch base with your local services and find out what is available through them.

If you use any other resources that you think would be useful to others, please add them in the comments below.

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