Access to Indigenous health services eased by new health brokers

A new health brokerage service has been established for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the inner north of metropolitan Melbourne.


Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon launched ASK (Access Services for Koories) today in Fitzroy, Melbourne.


“ASK will be undertaking to make a real difference to health outcomes for Melbourne’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by forging better integrated service delivery.


“The Brokerage Program is aimed at increasing the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to high quality, culturally appropriate primary health care by linking individuals to a network of health providers.


“As a result, local clients will gain a greater knowledge of what the mainstream health system can offer them, and mainstream health providers will learn to provide services in a culturally and clinically appropriate way,” Mr Snowdon said.


The latest ABS report into the health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples found that, nationally, more than one-quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults reported problems accessing one or more health services.


The new brokerage results from a strengthened alliance between the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) and the Northern Division of General Practice, whose combined strengths can identify gaps in services, draw upon successful local relations of the past, and build and strengthen those relations.


The ASK brokerage project is located at 66 Sackville Street, Collingwood. This new Victorian service joins those already operating in NSW and Western Australia.


25 March 2011.