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PHN launches First Nations health support request portal for General Practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Allied Health providers across the region.

The Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) has launched a First Nations health support request portal for General Practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and Allied Health providers across the region.

Via the portal, primary care providers from across the region can request support for a range of educational activities and practice resources. Through adopting this First Nations Request-Driven Service Model, the PHN’s First Nations Health Access Team aims to elevate healthcare access and quality, reduce disparities, and build stronger, healthier communities. This strategic shift reflects their dedication to meeting the diverse needs of First Nations people and ensuring culturally responsive healthcare services are available within our region.

HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis said the PHN is committed to providing support to primary care providers focusing on the delivery of culturally appropriate healthcare. “The implementation of the new request-driven service model represents a significant step forward in the PHNs ongoing commitment to improving access to culturally appropriate healthcare services for First Nations people.

“The PHN encourages all primary care provides across our region to consider how their practice could benefit from our services to create a more culturally safe environment for their First Nations clients.”

HNECC PHN Executive Manager of Populations, Access and Performance, Dr Ali Koschel said “by streamlining our operations, enhancing communication, and optimising our resources, we aim to deliver more effective and tailored support to our primary care providers. We believe that this model will not only improve the quality of care but also foster stronger partnerships between our team and the practices we serve, so that together, we can make a meaningful difference and create a healthcare system that truly meets the needs of our First Nation communities.”

Use of the First Nations health support request portal is straightforward. Practices can head to the First Nations landing page, review the support options and complete the request form. Once received by the PHN, the First Nations Health Access team triage the requests and assign an appropriate team member to progress the request and assist the practice in reaching their goals.

PHN First Nations support encompasses:

  • Cultural Safety Training: Education for medical staff about First Nation history and the barriers to accessing mainstream GP services, aimed at fostering culturally safe practices within your team.
  • Asking the Question: Strategies for asking patients if they identify as First Nation in a respectful manner, underlining the importance of this practice.
  • Closing the Gap Incentive (CTG): Guidance on the CTG prescription incentive, including eligibility criteria and the process for registering First Nation people for this incentive.
  • Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Indigenous Health Incentive (IHI): Information on eligibility and how to access these incentives for your general practice to improve Indigenous health outcomes.
  • Health Assessments: The significance of the 715 health check for First Nation patients and encouraging their participation.
  • Integrated Team Care (ITC) Program: Detailed information on the ITC program, designed to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people with chronic conditions, ensuring they receive coordinated care through the collaboration of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Education for Allied Health Services: Specialised educational services for Allied Health professionals to enhance their understanding and service delivery to First Nations communities.
  • Collaborative Support: We encourage strong collaborative networks between PHNs, Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS), integrated care teams, and other health services to improve funding navigation and streamline patient care.
  • Resource Provision: Distribution of newly designed, culturally-tailored resources that align with the needs of your practice.
  • Flexible Education and Information Sessions: Delivery of educational and informational sessions either face-to-face or virtually, arranged at times that best suit your practice's schedule.

To access the request support portal, visit our First Nations Health landing page and click the Request Support button.

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