17 January 2017 HealthWISE will continue to provide Aboriginal Health Services in 2017

Due to the recent announcement of the change of service provider for the Government funded Indigenous Primary Health Care Programme funding (IPHC) there has been confusion amongst the community about who will provide these health programmes and services.HealthWISE had previously serviced the New England North West under the IPHC programme, however In late 2016 Armajun Aboriginal Health Service was successful in receiving 2.6 million of the IPHC programme funding to service Walcha, Uralla, Armidale, Guyra, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Inverell, Tingha, Ashford, Warialda and Bingara by providing clinical services and population health activities. HealthWISE will continue to service communities under the IPHC programme in Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, and Tamworth. Both HealthWISE and Armajun are committed to working together to ensure services under this programme are continuous through this transition phase.

On December 20, HealthWISE announced the continuation of the Care Co-ordination and Supplementary Services Programme, aimed at increasing access for Aboriginal people with a chronic disease to required medical services and coordinated care. Going into 2017 this is re-branded as Integrated Team Care Activity (ITC). HealthWISE will service the entire New England North West area, Armidale, Inverell, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Tamworth, Quirindi, Werris Creek, Walcha, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree and Boggabilla including the smaller communities in-between. HealthWISE will provide assistance for Aboriginal clients with a chronic disease to access health services, specialist and allied health care, and where funding is available, support clients financially to attend those appointments. The ITC program will work in partnership to deliver the program with Armajun Aboriginal health Service, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation and Walhallow Aboriginal Health Service and is funded by the Primary Healthcare Network Hunter New England and Central Coast.

Furthermore on HealthWISE continuing services in 2017, HealthWISE will continue to provide Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry and Exercise Physiology through the priority allied health services programme for low-income earners and pension cardholders along with the Memory Assessment Program and Falls Prevention programs for the elderly and small community health education through the Primary Health Care Nurse program. HealthWISE mental health services will continue unaffected – HealthWISE can provide the following mental health services to eligible clients including low income earners and pension card holders via GP referral:

  • Those for women and families experiencing perinatal depression and /or anxiety
  • People who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander experiencing depression and anxiety
  • People at moderate risk of suicide or self-harm (restricted to pre-identified locations);
  • Children aged 0-13 with a focus on 8 to 12-years-old experiencing depression and/or anxiety.
  • Individuals experiencing common mental disorders of mild to moderate severity who have limited access to alternative mental health services.

Private mental health sessions are also available to the wider community; please visit the website for fees and payments. Medical Specialist outreach programs are available to people living remotely who require specialist treatment. Access to these services is via GP referral. Some Aboriginal identified services do not require GP referral – please contact HealthWISE for more information.

To arrange to speak with Debi Richardson – HealthWISE Aboriginal Health Access Manager, please contact Leonnee Pinchen-Martin (02) 6766 1394 leonnee.pinchen-martin@healthwisenenw.com.au