Hunter New England Health and Armajun join forces to bring better health outcomes to Northern Tablelands

Wendy Mulligan

Wendy Mulligan

Armajun and Hunter New England Health are joining forces in a “unique” way to deliver health services in Guyra and across the region.

“There is no one else who works in partnership with organisations to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginals as we have,” HNEH general manager for Northern Tablelands, Wendy Mulligan told The Argus.

SERVICES: Armajun Aboriginal Health Service practice manager Sharleen Dodd and registered nurse Abby Croft at Armajun's Armidale location in Rusden Street.

SERVICES: Armajun Aboriginal Health Service practice manager Sharleen Dodd and registered nurse Abby Croft at Armajun's Armidale location in Rusden Street.

The idea was first developed in 2012 and involves combining forces to offer services in audiometry, diabetes education, early childhood screening, STI screening, women’s health and more.

“We have doctors coming from HNEH providing special services such as cardiac services, pain management and paediatrics,” Ms Mulligan said.

“We look at working together so that we can cover more with the resources that we have.

“Armajun had dentists and dental nurses but nowhere to run the clinics.

“So we developed a service level agreement and allowed them to use our dental clinics in Inverell, Glen Innes and Tenterfield.

“So they come in, run the service for their clients and use our facilities.”

Ms Mulligan visited Newcastle last month to do a talk about how the partnership is working towards “closing the gap”.

“Hunter New England Health have quite a few strategies that they use to be able to do that … and this is one of them,” she said.

“For instance we have the immunisation nurses and Armajun has a bus that we can set up like a clinic.

“We can go to places where we know there is a target audience, such as the football in Tingha, and immunise a lot of people.”

The most recent Indigenous life expectancy figures were published in late 2013 and showed a gap of 10.6 years for males and 9.5 years for females.

Between 2010 to 2012, life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 69.1 years for Indigenous males (compared with 79.7 years for non-Indigenous males) and 73.7 years for females (compared with 83.1 years for their non-Indigenous counterparts). 

Between 1998 and 2015, the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic disease declined significantly by 19 per cent.

But the Federal Government believes we are still not on track to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031.

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