Aboriginal Health

We are working towards "Closing the Gap" in South Western Sydney.

Aboriginal Health is a key priority focus of the South Western Sydney PHN and our aim to close the gap between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australians life expectancy by improving access to culturally sensitive primary care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

" Whilst Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) play a vital role in Aboriginal health, it is estimated that 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access health care elsewhere.

Mainstream General Practice therefore has an important role in ensuring better service provision, including improved Health Assessment uptake." (Kehoe. H. RACGP AFP April 2017).

Our aim is to provide the education, support & resources to Mainstream General Practices to improve the healthcare of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by increasing access to targeted programs designed to overcome health disparities between Aboriginal and/or Torrers Strait Islander peoples and non- Indigenous Australians.

The objectives of the PHN are to:

  • Increase the uptake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait  Islander specific MBS item numbers including Health Assessments and follow up items
  • Support mainstream primary care services to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self identify.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of Closing the Gap measures relevant to mainstream primary health care.
  • Foster collaboration and support between mainstream primary care and the Aboriginal and Torres  Strait Islander health sectors.


Click here for access to the Australian Government of Health Department of Health resource kit providing information on health assessments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people updated with changes to the MBS item numbers resulting from the MBS review.


Integrated Team Care (ITC)- CCSS

The ITC program is a program designed to support the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community (of any age)  in managing their chronic disease and is provided by qualified health workers to ensure patients are accessing services consistent with their GP care plan. The chronic diseases managed by this program include but is  not limited to the following:  heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes and renal disease

ITC Care Coordinators service can include provision of appropriate clinical care, coordinating other health services as required, assisting the patient to attend appointments, encourage and support self management of their health conditions, and ensuring regular reviews are undertaken by the patient’s primary care providers.

Referrals can be made using the attached referral form along with the GP management plan, and sending by fax to SWSPHN on 4625 9466.

Integrated Team Care (ITC)-  IIAMPC

Improving Indigenous Access to Mainstream General Practice (IIAMPC) is designed to assist, support and to foster collaboration between mainstream primary care services and Aboriginal specific health services, also to improve the capacity of mainstream primary care services to deliver culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people (including but not limited to General Practice, Allied Health and Specialists).


  • Support mainstream primary care services to encourage Aboriginal and/or torres Strait Islander people to self identify
  • Increase the uptake of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific MBS item: including Health assessments & follow up item numbers
  • Provide RACGP approved Cultural Awareness Training for General Practice staff including: General Practitioners, Nurses, Reception staff
  • Assisting general practice to register for the PIP IHI incentive.

The activities for both the CCSS & the IIAMPC formalises the Integrated health team approach by providing support to patients across the full pathway of care.

Accessing ‘CTG’ Annotated Prescriptions

The Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Measure improves access to PBS medicines for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are living with, or at risk of, chronic disease. Closing the Gap prescriptions attract a lower or nil patient co-payment for PBS medicines.

The measure aims to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of any age who present with an existing chronic disease or are at risk of chronic disease and, in the opinion of the prescriber "would experience setbacks in the prevention or ongoing management of chronic disease if they did not take the prescribed medicine, and are unlikely to adhere to their medicines regimen without assistance through the measure".

PIP accredited general practices and non-remote (urban or rural) Indigenous Health Services register through the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive (IHI). Eligible patients may access CTG prescriptions from any PBS prescriber working at a IHI PIP registered practice.

Eligible patients can be registered at general practices participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive under the Practice Incentives Programme, or Indigenous Health Services in urban and rural settings. If the practice is not registered for IHI PIP, eligible patients will not be able to access CTG prescriptions.

The following prescribers are eligible to provide their patients with a Closing the Gap annotated script:

  • any medical practitioner working in a practice that is participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive under the Practice Incentives Programme
  • any medical practitioner working in an Indigenous Health Service in rural or urban settings
  • any medical specialist in any practice location provided the patient is eligible under the Closing the Gap - PBS Co-payment Measure, and has been referred by a medical practitioner working in a practice that is participating in the Indigenous Health Incentive PBS Co-payment Measure under the Practice Incentives Programme.

For more information on CTG annotation prescriptions and practice and/or patient registration requirements click here, or call us on 4632 3000 for assistance from our Aboriginal Health Coordinator.

2017 SWSPHN  Cultural Awareness Training  -

Dates To be advised


Register for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Training evenings here or download and return the attached registration form.

Alternatively, an online Active learning Module is available from the RACGP webite. Note: for RACGP members - cost is nil, for non- members there is a fee of $179.00.

The Commonwealth Department of Human Services has released online guides to help health care professionals support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. Click here for access to the full range of resources. 


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander service contacts

Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service

Marumali Health Brokerage

Miller (The HUB) Community Health Centre

Budyari Aboriginal Community Health Centre: Aboriginal Chronic Care Program

18 Woodward Cres, Miller NSW 2168 Tel 02 8781 8020

For more information on services available to the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community in South Western Sydney please call the CTG team on (02) 4632 3000.