Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh

Ampilatwatja health professionals story
AHWs at Ampilatwatja

Primary health care

The Alyawarr Region is currently serviced by community health clinics at Ampilatwatja, Alpurrurulma, Canteen Creek, Epenarra, Urapunja and Alicurung. Of these, Ampilatwatja clinic and Urapunja Health are ‘independently’ funded through Commonwealth Health, whereas the others are NT Health funded clinics. Alpurrurulam is administered out of Alice Springs, whereas the others (incl Alicurung?) are administered out of Tennant Creek.

The current primary health care system on Alyawarr lands is fragmented and inefficient, and while the Northern Territory Government has developed a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, this in itself cannot achieve the level of efficiency gains that could be attained through the creation of a regional Aboriginal health service. Notwithstanding, the Medicare universal health insurance system is of great value, particularly combined with Chronic Disease Management items of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and measures to improve access to General Practitioners.

Apmer Aharreng-arenykenh Aknganenty Aboriginal Corporation has been seeking to establish a regional Aboriginal health service, for Alyawarr people, similar to Nganampa Health Council for the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands or Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council. The purpose of establishing a regional health service is to enable a more holistic and comprehensive approach to primary health care on Alyawarr lands. By bringing each of the health services under one umbrella, the following opportunities present:

  1. Networked patient information recall system, that allows for information sharing between participant clinics;
  2. Operations on a scale that can better support a central administration, including Chronic Disease Management, Information Technology, Training, Recruitment and Selection, Continuous Quality Improvement;
  3. Population health planning with resulting better targeted intervention, prevention programs and health promotion activities;
  4. A more holistic approach, supporting an environmental health program, research into the social determinants of health and advocacy; and
  5. Community-control over all primary health services on Alyawarr lands, thereby enabling greater effective participation in their design, development and delivery.
  6. Cooridnated health promotional campaigns.