How Gilgandra Local Aboriginal Medical Service Improves Health Outcomes

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how gilgandra local aboriginal medical service improves health outcomes

The Gilgandra local Aboriginal medical service addresses the disease burden of Aboriginal communities. Findings from research exploring Gilgandra local Aboriginal Medical service reveal that the Australian indigenous communities face over double the rate of disease prevalence experienced by other communities. It is imperative to survey those medical services and their benefits to the Gilgandra indigenous population.

Health Outcomes from the Gilgandra Local Aboriginal Medical Service

The Gilgandra local Aboriginal medical service has been responsible for managing chronic diseases. These ailments thrive when there are minimal or no strategies for preventive health care. Some of the diseases result from socio-economic effects caused by social inequalities.

Indigenous Australians live in remote, rural, and economically marginalised areas. They lack basic and essential health services and empowerment to make appropriate health decisions. These social anomalies expose them to higher morbidities.

Some of the health issues that assail the Gilgandra society include:

  1. Cancer
  2. Diabetes
  3. Blindness
  4. Obesity
  5. Cardiovascular diseases
  6. Respiratory diseases
  7. Injuries
  8. Suicide
  9. Musculoskeletal conditions

Besides that, chronic ailments such as kidney disease, mental illness, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases account for close to two-thirds of the disease burden in the Aboriginal community.

The following are some measures focussed on improving health outcomes:

  • Funding Health Programs

The government funds programs to support people living with chronic diseases. For instance, Too Deadly for Diabetes, a program that supports people in aboriginal communities living with Type 2 diabetes, received funding.

The funding will enable more people to access healthcare and expand lifestyle programs to sensitise the community. The program also targets those at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

It is a research-based initiative encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles for sustained weight management. The efforts have led to improvements in risk factors like blood pressure and blood sugar. The funding boosts better health and preventive healthcare, reducing the burden on the local healthcare system.

  • Community-specific Education

NSW Health partners with Aboriginal communities to educate them. Education focuses on changing people’s behaviour and attitudes to adopt healthier lifestyles. When the ailing participants show improved health, their relatives and the rest of the community are motivated to embrace healthy living.

Effective education and communication depend on verbal and written information. It is customised to be relevant and acceptable to the local community. The information and communication must respect local customs and values and be in a language people understand.

This strategy also requires training and retention of community health educators. Education is provided to children in schools and the public through formal and informal gatherings. Community health educators also use various media platforms to educate the communities and give them control over their health issues.

  • Locally Developed Models

The Aboriginal medical service develops tailor-made strategies, such as meal plans, motivation, education, and exercise programs, to support the community in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The programs also focus on providing better, holistic health services and encouraging the community to use them.

Customised programs, that are also subsidised and affordable, will encourage the locals to visit healthcare facilities for treatment. Some people shy away from mainstream facilities due to costs and the language barrier. Such hospitals should hire more Aboriginal staff to resolve miscommunication and discomfort between patients and healthcare providers.

An essential approach is needed to achieve lasting health outcomes among the Aboriginal communities. It should focus on addressing the disparities in the health services available for Aboriginal and non-indigenous communities.

Conclusion

A medical service cannot achieve much when it does not acknowledge and accommodate the belief systems of its target population. The Aboriginal communities, especially in remote areas, bear the brunt of social and economic disparities with the non-indigenous communities. The government and partnering organisations must bridge that gap to improve Aboriginal health outcomes consistently.

 

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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