Coming to town: reaching agreement on a thorny issue

Wapau, Hylda, Jans, Diana, Hapea, Emily, Mein, Jacki, Curnow, Venessa, and McDonald, Malcolm (2018) Coming to town: reaching agreement on a thorny issue. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 26 (6). pp. 416-421.

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Objective: To describe the process of gaining consensus across regional organisations in formulating measures to improve coordination of care for people from remote Far North Queensland communities coming to town (Cairns) to access health care.

Design: This is a descriptive study that includes survey data from workshop participants.

Setting: Coming to town for health care poses great challenges, especially for Indigenous Australians from remote communities. Numerous organisations are involved, communications are fragmented and there is no central coordinating body. The system frequently fails to deliver necessary services. This generates preventable cost burdens through missed flights, missed appointments, missed treatment opportunities and extra administration. Workshop organisers invited key service providers from across Far North Queensland.

Main outcome measures: Using real-case scenarios, the task was to identify and prioritise the central issues and explore ways to address them. Participants jointly crafted the final recommendations and also posted suggestions on a 'wish-list' board. A participant assessment survey was conducted at the end of the workshop, followed by an online survey 6 weeks later.

Results:There were 32 participants. The concluding survey indicated the workshop was well received and people valued the collaboration. There were six primary recommendations plus numerous wish-list suggestions. The best-supported recommendation was establishment of a coming to town Hub with a local coordinating team and community-based representatives.

Conclusion: Implementation of the workshop recommendations and support of all key service providers should be culturally acceptable and resource-efficient with better health outcomes for travellers, their families and communities.

Item ID: 56817
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: access, consensus, health services, Indigenous, remote, workshop
Copyright Information: © 2018 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 07:41
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450409 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services @ 25%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420402 Models of care and place of birth @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 25%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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