Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019
July 17, 2019
NAIDOC week is an important time to reflect on the history of Australia and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Voice, Treaty, Truth was the theme for this year and asks people to recognise the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
To celebrate NAIDOC Week 2019, our team attended a number of events across the region - see photos at the end of this page.
We also took the opportunity to sit down with one of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health service providers to discuss their role in providing culturally appropriate care in the region.
Provider Profile: Carbal Medical Services
Our PHN funds Carbal Medical Services to deliver the Integrated Team Care (ITC) Program in Toowoomba and the Southern Downs, as well as culturally appropriate Alcohol and Other Drug treatment services and Mental Health services throughout the region.
That is quite a big catchment area, how many people do you help?
We have over 8,000 clients on our books, with about 85% to 90% identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. The rest make up the family members of those clients.
What kind of services do you provide?
We have four general practice and allied health services in both centres (Toowoomba and Warwick). Toowoomba has a dedicated NDIS facility and an Integrated Team Care (ITC) facility.
A new initiative we have recently launched is the Carbal Institute of Aboriginal Health Research, of which, we are the second only institute for dedicated Aboriginal research to be registered in Australia. We participate in many research projects with various university’s around Australia.
What is involved with the ITC program that you deliver across the region?
We have been delivering the ITC program since its inception and have over 1,300 clients involved. Recently we consolidated our ITC program which now has seven dedicated staff working out of a new facility. Those numbers are not just for Carbal clients, 900 (of the 1,300) are located outside our catchment are. We work with many other services and AMS’s throughout the region to ensure consistent care is delivered.
Once enrolled with ITC, we can assist with medical aids such as wheelchairs, walking frames and specialised equipment. These are aids the clients otherwise wouldn’t have access to or be able to afford. The ITC program also provides out of pocket expenses for specialist and allied health consultations as many of those services don’t have bulk billing. These out of pocket costs can become a real barrier for a lot of Aboriginal people, as oppose to main stream clients.
Transport can also be a problem when trying to access services, our ITC program provides an extensive transport service that gets people to appointments. This service covers appointment locations for our region and goes as far as Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
Our care coordinators do a fantastic job they stay with their clients during the appointment and help the consultation by ensuring everyone understands the information. They are culturally supportive aboriginal health workers and understand nuances that main stream health professionals wouldn’t otherwise recognise.