Aboriginal Health


We are working towards Closing the Gap in South Western Sydney


Aboriginal Health is a key priority for the South Western Sydney PHN and our aim is 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.

While Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) play a vital role in Aboriginal health, it is estimated that 60 per cent 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 item numbers

  • 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.


  • Provide RACGP approved Cultural Awareness Training for General Practice staff including: General Practitioners, Nurses, Reception staff  (CPD Friday update lists upcoming CPD events along with the CPD calendar on website)

  • Assist & encourage mainstream general practices to register for the PIP IHI incentive- benefits include: continuity of care of patients, compliance with medications & treatments, reduction of hospital presentations.

  • Encourage self identification of Aboriginality in general practice and hospital - make your Practice culturally friendly and safe - speak to the Aboriginal health coordinator about resources

  • Review processes in how general practice staff  "ASK" the identifying question  via: Education, support, posters, brochures, other resources.

  • Promote the Indigenous Chronic Disease package for General Practitioners - Range of initiatives to support you in providing quality primary healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic disease and for those at risk of developing chronic disease. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives: Primary Health Services Toolkit

  • Projects designed to target risk factors such as: Cancer Screening, Tobacco Cessation, Overweight & Obesity, Social and Emotional wellbeing.


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.


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: Cardiovascular disease, Respiratory disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Renal disease.

Examples of support include the 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 Triple I Hub Referral Form_2020 along with the GP management plan, and sending by fax to Triple I Hub Fax: 4621 8799 or email to: SWSLHD-TripleI@health.nsw.gov.au

For phone enquiries contact Budyari Community Health 02 8781 8020 ask to speak to a member of the Aboriginal Chronic Care Program.


Reconcilation Action Plans

SWSPHN is committed to building respect and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve meaningful gains in the health of First Nations people.

This commitment is demonstrated through our Reconcilation Action Plans.

Reconciliation action plans aim to provide organisations with a structured approach to advance reconciliation. SWSPHN launched its first plan, the Reflect RAP, in January 2019.

Our Innovate RAP was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia late last year.


Aboriginal Engagement Strategy

South Western Sydney PHN have commenced the development of an Aborignal Engagement Strategy Toolkit.

South Western Sydney PHN are committed to forging strong and meaningful partnerships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community stakeholders as a shared approach to address the health of our region.

The development and implementation of the toolkit will enhance the capability of SWSPHN staff to create meaningful discussions when engaging with community, enhance our organisational performance and service delivery.

Synergising the RAP, current practices and individual approaches to cultural responsiveness.


Aboriginal Health Statistics for South Western Sydney

For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population born in 2010-2012; life expectancy was estimated to be 10.6 years lower than that of  the non-indigenous populations.

  Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal
Female 73.7 years 83.1 years
Male 69.1 years 79.7 years

Data resource: AIHW website (updated August 17, 2017)

LGA - Region Aboriginal population (2016 census) Total Population (2016 Census) Number of 715's claimed (2016-2017)
Bankstown 1412 171429 122
Campbelltown 5971 157006 1712
Camden 1933 78218 339
Fairfield 1483 198817 125
Liverpool 3012 204326 450
Wingecaribee 954 47882 159
Wollindilly 1552 48519 120
SWS Totals 16317 906197 3027

Data resource: 2016 census population & Department of Health (MBS data)

How can we improve the life expectancy for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community?

  • Encourage identification in General Practice - Ask the question- Do you identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait islander?
  • Become a PIP IHI Accredited practice- WHY? provide a full suite of services to your patients, improve health outcomes, improve compliance, provide continuity of care - Financial incentives for your Practice as well as excellent Health outcomes.
  • Ensure each of your Aboriginal patients are offered and encouraged to participate in their Annual Health Assessment (MBS 715) - WHY? Preventative Health & screening tool, gather important information, shows you are interested and will develop a good doctor/patient relationship.
  • Utilise the follow up MBS item numbers from the 715 (81300-81360) &  from the 721/723 (10950-10970)
  • Chronic patients ensure both the 715 & GPMP/TCA (721/723) are utilised


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander service contacts

Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service:  187 Riverside Dr Airds  Phone: 4628 4837

Marumali Health Brokerage64 Macquarie St Liverpool Phone: 9602 9677

Gandangara Health Service: 64 Macquarie St Liverpool Phone 9601 0700

Miller (The HUB) Community Health Centre18 Woodward Cres, Miller NSW 2168 Phone: 02 8781 8020

Budyari Aboriginal Community Health Centre: Aboriginal Chronic Care Program, 18 Woodward Cres, Miller NSW 2168 Phone: 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 Integrated Health Team on 4632 3000 or email: enquiries@swsphn.com.au enquiries@swsphn.com.au



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

Click here to access the Australian Government Department of Human Services online guides to help health care professionals support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. 

RACGP website Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the professional body for general practitioners.This link provides access to education, clinical resources and running a general practice.