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PA Hospital committed to Closing the Gap

22 March 2019

The community joined with staff from Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) this week to reinforce our priorities for creating healthier futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the annual Close the Gap event.

Metro South Health (MSH) Board Chair, Ms Janine Walker acknowledged the challenges we face in the hospital environment but also reflected on the progress we have made through key initiatives on campus.

“I was very proud to hear a special mention at PA Hospital’s recent Magnet redesignation announcement for the work of our Better Cardiac Care Project,” Ms Walker said.

“This project is improving follow-up care and medication access resulting in reduced readmission rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cardiology patients which is a wonderful example of coordinating care and our staff improving each client’s understanding of their care plan in a culturally sensitive way.”

The project is making simple steps every day toward our significant commitment to improve access, support and medication knowledge which is helping to Close the Gap.

Ms Walker also reinforced the Metro South Health commitment through service-wide initiatives, the MSH Close the Gap Committee, and our Metro South Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy, Pathways to Inclusion.

“This workforce policy has gained momentum throughout our health service with increased opportunities for indigenous people to undertake internships and culture specific roles in our hospitals,” Ms Walker said.

Executive Director of PAH, Dr Michael Cleary acknowledged the amazing steps taken by Dr Noel Hayman at the nationally-renowned Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in the community space at Inala alongside a list of programs at PAH which will continue to address the challenges we face in improving indigenous health.

“Some of the key challenges include things like poor outpatient attendance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and higher rates of discharge against medical advice. 

“We will continue to strive to develop high quality health services that target these challenges in a respectful way in order to create healthier futures for our indigenous community,” he said.

Some key Close the Gap initiatives underway at PAH include:

  • Telehealth services connecting indigenous consumers in community centres to specialists at PAH
  • Personalised care for indigenous patients on dialysis
  • Smoking cessation intervention programs to prevent discharge against medical advice
  • Patient transport options to improve access and reduce the rate of non-attendance at outpatient appointments
  • The Way Forward Mental Health project developing the capacity of indigenous staff
  • Staff education to connect with clients in a culturally sensitive way so they will be able to partner with us in their own health.

“These are great examples of our passionate staff finding those gaps and forming knowledge partnerships that will benefit our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population,” Dr Cleary said.

Through the MSH Close the Gap Plan, all hospitals, facilities and staff within Metro South continue to commit to building service capabilities, workforce approaches and initiatives to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Close the Gap.

Watch the video of the PAH Close the Gap event.

Last updated 25 March 2019
Last reviewed 22 March 2019

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