Regional Remote Health
RRHS provides primary health care services and allied health care to residents of the Barkly Region. It is supported by a team of GPs, RNs, ALOs, and Allied Health Professionals.
Manu Kinapina Parlpuru Ninji Kari (Regional Remote Health)
Within the AHAC structure RRHS prime responsibility is for the expansion of primary health care services across the Barkly including further integration of current services provided by a broad spectrum of services providers. This requires significant planning and resources with clear agreed timelines between stakeholders.
In May 2010, RRHS, through an agreement with the then Department of Health and Families (now the Department of Health), implemented the Barkly Health Service Delivery Area Plan. Phase 1 was the 715 health checks targeted at Aboriginal residents that have never had a health check or currently have expired health checks. The target clientele population in Tennant Creek town living areas is approximately 600 people which was the initial focus. This agreement between AHAC and DHF enabled positive negotiations for implementation and operation of the regionalisation project. Phase 2 was the ‘follow-up’ phase including specifically targeted projects (e.g. Male Health, Female Health) in DHF serviced communities as well as communities AHAC is responsible for. The purpose of this joint approach is to better coordinate service delivery with the expectation that clients are provided a more seamless service. An already identified positive from this joint approach is better exchange of client information and follow-up.
RRHS is open from 8am – 5pm Monday to FridayRRHS provides primary health care services and allied health care to residents of the Barkly Region. It is supported by a team of GPs, RNs, ALOs, and Allied Health Professionals
Programs & Services
The Grow Well Program
The Grow Well Program works as part of the Regional Remote Health Section, incorporating the broader primary health care components of family, community and culture to care for children 0-5 years old and their carers. Grow Well works across seven remote communities within the Barkly Shire, promoting individual and community self-reliance through sensitive cross-disciplinary programming that is unique to each environment, its resources, knowledge, skills and needs.
Many cultural factors affect the way the program is run throughout the Barkly region for example, special ceremonies, family matters, English as a third language, dreaming, spirituality, healing techniques, different attitudes to child rearing, food security, transport, time and money etc. Weeks of planning and preparation, might well result in a two and a half hour drive to an empty community regardless of the steps taken to avoid this. Priorities differ between cultures, families and communities necessitating the need for flexible program delivery and realistic expectations.
Across the Barkly the Grow Well Program provides the following supports for individuals and communities; playgroup, cooking classes, nutrition education, supporting a school nutrition program, women’s groups involving sewing, cooking and problem-solving skills, influencing take-away menus and stock selection at community shops, teaching basic business concepts including budgeting and bookkeeping, instruction in personal and home hygiene, dog care, teaching women and children about human anatomy, conducting workshops in pregnancy, childbirth and sexual health.
For more information on the Grow Well Program, contact Patricia Frank at PHU on (08) 89624855
The Remote Health Service is part of Anyinginyi, and provides health care to residents of North East and Central Barkly, who live remotely, and are unable to visit the Anyinginyi clinic in town. Teams of nurses, and sometimes a doctor, travel out bush to give health care in these remote communities. Most of the services that are carried out in the clinic can be done out bush with, at times, ‘creative improvisation.’
The department services two areas; the more remote area is North East Barkly, which includes the communities of Wogayala, Kurntaparrla, Wunara and Corella Creek, and the three smaller communities of Connells Lagoon, Iluwurru, and Burudu. Because of the distances, this involves two or three days travelling. The other area is Central Barkly, consisting of the communities within 100km of Tennant Creek. This includes Wauchope, Greenwood, Karlinjarri, Nguyarrmini and Mungkarta South of Tennant Creek, and Mungalawurru, Kalumpurlpa, Blue Bush and Likkaparta North of Tennant Creek. Working within100km allows nurses to make day trips to these communities.
When the department is fully staffed, we try to have nurses visit each community every two to three weeks. The rewards are great, for staff and for residents. To have the opportunity to care for people in their own homes and own communities is a great privilege, and we hope that we provide a service that is valued by those we care for.
For further information on the Roving Clinic, please contact RRHS Manager Allan Baldock on (08) 8963 2900.
In Australia, Allied Health typically includes all health professions other than medicine, nursing and pharmacy that require a tertiary degree to practice, and who form part of the public health system. They work in health care teams to make the health care system function by providing a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care and support services that are critical to the other health professionals they work with and the patients they serve. Examples of Allied Health professions are Nutritionists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Physiotherapists & Podiatrists to name a few.
Anyinginyi provides the following Allied Health Care services:
Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health for everyone and it is for this reason that the Regional Remote Health Section of Anyinginyi employs a full time Community Nutritionist. The role of the Nutritionist is to improve health outcomes by promoting healthy eating and nutrition practices in the Tennant Creek township area and selected remote communities in the Barkly Region. Current issues of major concern are the high incidence of diabetes, obesity, and anaemia in children. The nutritionist works with health staff, schools, early childhood services, indigenous community groups, adolescents and mothers of young children as well as seeing some individuals for nutrition counselling and nutrition education. Current projects include:
- `Good Tucker for Diabetes’ – a nutrition education program for adults with pre-diabetes or diabetes,
- `School Veggie Gardens’ – encouragement and support for schools who wish to set up and maintain school veggie gardens.
- The `Healthy Eating in Tennant Creek Partnership Program’- support and facilitation for other services to improve healthy eating and healthy lifestyle in Tennant Creek
- `Strong Blood’ community education program to decrease the prevalence of anaemia (or weak blood) in young indigenous children and at risk groups.
- Support for schools and Community store programs in partnership with other Barkly Region Nutritionists. We offer support for teachers to implement the nutrition curriculum in remote schools and to encourage community stores to provide and promote healthy food to their communities.
Podiatry and Physiotherapy
Anyinginyi also provides the services of a visiting Podiatrist and Physiotherapist for approximately 12 weeks over the calendar year, depending on demand and availability. These two Allied Health services compliment other services provided by the organisation particularly those dealing with chronic disease treatment and prevention. They also work closely with other agencies in Tennant Creek in order to provide a more “holistic” level of patient care.