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Swan Hill

Swan Hill

Review of Primary Health Care Needs of the Indigenous Community in Swan Hill (Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, 2004)

OATSIH required options for re-establishing primary health care services to the Swan Hill Aboriginal community following the transfer of health related service administration from the Swan Hill and District Aboriginal Cooperative (SHADAC) back to mainstream providers. The consultations concentrated on identifying the health needs of the Swan Hill Aboriginal community, the highest priority health services within the restrictions of the available budget and a management system to deliver a stable and high quality health service able to improve the health status of the community.

AKA consulted community leaders and health service providers, surveyed community members, reviewed government policy related to Indigenous health, reviewed local health studies, analysed population and hospital usage data and visited existing mainstream service providers to whom SHADAC’s services were transferred. Statewide figures for indigenous health status are reflected in this area where hospital admissions are higher than for the population as a whole. Health promotion was seen as a high priority for a new health service. Principles for a new management structure should include a dedicated Aboriginal health service with governance balanced between community involvement and health service delivery expertise.