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New guide to preventing chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

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THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Indigenous Health

31 May 2012

New Guide to Preventing Chronic Disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Health professionals and workers have access to a new tool to help in preventing chronic disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The second edition of the National Guide to a Preventive Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was launched in Canberra this morning by Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon.

“The guide will provide Health professionals with up-to-date evidence to help deliver best practice in preventive health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.

“It also provides a summary chart of preventive health care activities to be undertaken at each age group across the course of a person’s life.”

The Government will contribute an additional $86,000 to promote uptake and effective use of the new national guide through workshops for GPs and other health professionals in each state and territory.

The Australian Government, together with the states and territories, committed $1.6 billion over four years to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, including tackling chronic disease and it’s causes, such as smoking, alcohol misuse and lack of exercise, as well as increasing the health workforce.

The guide being launched today, backs up recent initiatives under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Chronic Disease Package.

“The Indigenous Chronic Disease Package is putting new and increased health services on the ground nationwide, improving the health of tens of thousands of people each year,” Mr Snowdon said.

The package has provided 210 full-time staff to the Regional Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle teams which are now working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to help steer them away from risky lifestyles, that lead to preventable chronic diseases.

It has also boosted health checks, with 48,954 health assessments provided last year. The package has provided more affordable medicines for 127,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

General Practices and Indigenous Health Services are working to improve the delivery of best practice chronic disease management for about 38,000 patients registered in the past year under the Government’s Practice Incentive Program - Indigenous Health Incentive.

“All this effort requires ongoing support, and the new national guide will help health professionals working on closing the gap in health outcomes through better prevention and management of chronic disease,” Mr Snowdon said.

Mr Snowdon thanked members of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health for their work developing the guide.

For more information, contact Mr Snowdon’s Office on 02 6277 7820