The national Closing the Gap framework commits to reducing persisting disadvantage in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, with cross-government-sector initiatives and investment. Central to efforts to build healthier communities is the Aboriginal community controlled health service (ACCHS) sector; its focus on prevention, early intervention and comprehensive care has reduced barriers to access and unintentional racism, progressively improving individual health outcomes for Aboriginal people.
There is now a broad range of primary health care data that provides a sound evidence base for comparing the health outcomes for Indigenous people in ACCHSs with the outcomes achieved through mainstream services, and these data show: models of comprehensive primary health care consistent with the patient-centred medical home model; coverage of the Aboriginal population higher than 60% outside major metropolitan centres; consistently improving performance in key performance on best-practice care indicators; and superior performance to mainstream general practice.
ACCHSs play a significant role in training the medical workforce and employing Aboriginal people. ACCHSs have risen to the challenge of delivering best-practice care and there is a case for expanding ACCHSs into new areas. To achieve the best returns, the current mainstream Closing the Gap investment should be shifted to the community controlled health sector.
See also: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2014/201/2/aboriginal-community-controlled-health-services-leading-way-primary-care?utm_source=MJA+news+alerts&utm_campaign=d14132de24-MJA_news_Vol_201_Issue_2_21_July_20147_17_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c7e70a099-d14132de24-31400277