Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Improving the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream general practice

Better identification of Indigenous patients in general practices would improve their access to Medicare benefits such as health checks that could help "Close the Gap", yet many GPs don't consider ethnicity to be relevant to quality of care, according to Improving the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream general practice, a study from The Australian National University.

The study reviewed the effectiveness of strategies that aim to improve the identification of Indigenous people. National data and research evidence indicate that less than one third of general practices routinely collect information on the Indigenous status of patients. Improved identification would support new "Closing the Gap" initiatives to extend the delivery of routine health checks and chronic disease management services. Extensive consultations and interviews with Indigenous people, general practice staff and other stakeholders were undertaken as part of the study, as well as case studies of 10 general practice networks.

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