The Department of Health has launched the first of five partnerships with Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) to deliver care for older Aboriginals leaving hospital.
The initial partnership, in Bunbury, is part of the Transitional Care Program (TCP), jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments.
In a statement, the Department said the TCP provided care to older people for up to 12 weeks after their hospital discharge, including social work, nursing support, personal care and allied health care.
“It ensures that people who no longer require hospital care have the necessary support in place to safely return to the community, while ensuring hospital beds are available to patients with acute care needs,” the Department said.
“It is anticipated that this innovative approach will enable greater access to aged care services for Aboriginal people,” it said.
The Department said the Bunbury program was being delivered by the South West Aboriginal Medical Service, while the Broome and Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Services would soon be participating.
“A further two AMSs are expected to sign up to the pilot program, with services to begin later this year,” it said.
Minister for Health, Amber-Jade Sanderson said the initiative was the first of its kind in Australia and would attract more Aboriginal people to the TCP by offering more culturally-secure services closer to, or within their home community.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the AMSs to expand the types of community services they deliver so they can better support Aboriginal people in their areas,” Ms Sanderson said.
“The pilot will be evaluated and will contribute to a national evidence base on improving services for this vulnerable population,” she said.