More Indigenous access to primary healthcare with increase in services

The commonwealth-funded services – the majority of which are community controlled – included primary healthcare services such as access to doctors, nurses and medical specialists, as well as stand-alone substance use rehabilitation and treatment services, and Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services.

The report showed primary healthcare services targeted at Indigenous Australians provided 2.4 million episodes of care in 2009–10, which was a 14% increase in episodes of primary healthcare compared with 2008–09.

Substance-use services provided treatment and assistance to around 26,300 clients in 2009–10, an increase of 14% compared with 2008–09.

Institute spokesperson Dr Norbert Zmijewski (PhD) said access to primary  healthcare was critical for preventing ill health and effectively managing chronic disease.

“Tobacco, alcohol and substance misuse are major risk factors for chronic