Medical Specialist Access Framework – a guide to equitable access to Specialist Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has developed the Medical Specialist Access Framework – a guide to equitable access to Specialist Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' (the Framework). The Framework is the RACP's principal contribution to Strategy 1B of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The Framework was developed by the RACP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. It aims to increase access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People across Australia to medical specialists. The Framework consist of principles, enablers of specialist access, tools and resources, as well as case studies showcasing successful models that are enabling greater access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to medical specialists. The RACP welcomes the opportunity to discuss this further with interested stakeholders.

The Framework and associated documents can be found online at: https://www.racp.edu.au/msaf

Additional rural and urban case studies at :  https://www.racp.edu.au/advocacy/policy-and-advocacy-priorities/medical-specialist-access-framework/medical-specialist-access-framework-case-studies

Defining the Indefinable: Descriptors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Cultures and their Links to Health and Wellbeing

This report was funded by the Lowitja Institute and is part of the development of Mayi Kuwayu: The National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing; a national longitudinal study exploring the relationship between Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander wellbeing and culture. This review was conducted to explore what cultural factors are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and gain an understanding of how these factors relate to health and wellbeing.

We examined the Australian literature as well as publications from countries that have experienced similar colonisation events; primarily Aotearoa (New Zealand), Canada and the United States. Our main findings from this synthesis determined 6 main domains used to describe culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These domains were: Connection to Country; Cultural Beliefs and Knowledge; Language; Family, Kinship and Community; Expression and Cultural Continuity; and Self-determination and Leadership.

Defining the Indefinable: Descriptors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Cultures and their Links to Health and Wellbeing

Chronic conditions and disability 2015 [AIHW]

Chronic conditions and disability 2015

This report explores the association between 8 selected chronic conditions and disability in Australia: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and related disorders, back pain and problems, osteoporosis, asthma and emphysema. These conditions are generally long term and persistent, and can lead to gradual deterioration of health, and disability. This report examines disability prevalence and severity; and the types of impairments, limitations and restrictions experienced by those with the selected conditions.

Australian Loneliness Report (Australian Psychological Society)

Loneliness is a growing concern globally, because of its reported impact on health and wellbeing.

The Australian Psychological Society and Swinburne University have produced the Australian Loneliness Report, based on a national survey of adults. This examines the prevalence of loneliness and how it affects the physical and mental health of Australians. It is the most comprehensive study of loneliness completed in Australia.

Survey highlights:

• One in four Australian adults are lonely.

• One in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week, while one in four (27.6%) feel lonely for three or more days.

#8226; One in four Australians experience high levels of social interaction anxiety

• Lonely Australians have significantly worse health status (both physical and mental) than connected Australians.

• Lonely Australians are 15.2% more likely to be depressed and 13.1% more likely to be anxious about social interactions than those not lonely.

• Australians over 65 years are least lonely; other age groups experience similar levels of loneliness.

• Australians over 65 years also report better physical and mental health, lower levels of social interaction anxiety, fewer depression symptoms and greater social interaction than younger Australians.

• Younger adults report significantly more social interaction anxiety than older Australians.

Opioid harm in Australia: and comparisons between Australia and Canada [AIHW]

Opioid use and its associated harms is an issue of great public health interest, both within Australia and internationally. This report shows that opioid harms are an issue in both Australia and Canada. Rates of opioid deaths and opioid poisoning hospitalisations in Australia increased in the last 10 years. In 2016, pharmaceutical opioids were involved in more opioid deaths and opioid poisoning hospitalisations than heroin.

Opioid harm in Australia: and comparisons between Australia and Canada

Media release: Report sheds new light on opioid harm in Australia and draws global comparisons.

Nutrition across the life stages [AIHW]

The purpose of this report is to investigate the adequacy of the Australian diet across various life stages to help inform the evidence-base in relation to nutrition-related health determinants for chronic conditions. It brings together the latest available data from a variety of sources, including some previously published results, and also includes new analysis, such as reporting by socioeconomic status and remoteness.

Media release: New report looks at Australians’ diets across different stages of life—and the results aren’t good

Nutrition across the life stages.

Children's Headline Indicators [AIHW]

The Children's Headline Indicators CHI) are a set of 19 indicators endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference, Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference and the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee in 2008 (first reported in 2009).

They are high level, measureable indicators that identify the immediate environments as particularly important to children’s health, development and wellbeing. The CHI are presented from 2006 to 2016 and are grouped into 3 broad topic areas—Health, Early learning and care and Family and community.

NSW drought: Lifeline's toolkit for drought-affected farmers

The impacts of the drought go far beyond just stock, feed and dry paddocks and Lifeline chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson says a holistic toolkit is needed to help people cope.Currently, all of NSW has been declared in drought and with no significant rain in sight many farmers are doing it tough on the land and in the surrounding communities.


Download the Drought Tool- Kit.

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia [AIHW]

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, including key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations.

Further information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are also highlighted. It also includes some interactive data tables on tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs and treatment services.

Older Australia at a glance 2017 [AIHW]

Older people make up a considerable proportion of Australia’s population—in 2017, over 1 in 7 people were aged 65 and over. This report provides an overview of this diverse and growing population group through a range of topics. These outline older people’s demographic characteristics, health status, and service use.

Older Australia at a glance.

Potentially preventable hospitalisations in Australia by small geographic areas [AIHW]

Potentially preventable hospitalisations in Australia by small geographic areas provides information on 22 conditions for which hospitalisation may have been prevented by timely and appropriate provision of primary or community-based health care by Primary Health Network (PHN) and Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3). These include chronic, acute and vaccine-preventable conditions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescent and youth health and wellbeing 2018—in brief [AIHW]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescent and youth health and wellbeing 2018—in brief presents key findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescent and youth health and wellbeing 2018.

It brings together data for Indigenous people aged 10–24 on health and wellbeing outcomes, social and economic determinants of health, health risk factors, and health service use. Young Indigenous Australians report being in good health, but challenges remain.

Media release