Biripi AMS launches new facilities and services

As the Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service celebrates the official opening of its upgraded clinic facilities it is timely that the Primary Health Network announces that it is funding the organisation to deliver care coordination program for members of the Aboriginal community with complex medical needs.

Biripi ACMC CEO Brett Cowling said “the new clinic at Purfleet Aboriginal Community in Taree provides primary care and specialists’ services to close the ‘access’ gap for Biripi people. The Purfleet clinic has been partially funded by the Commonwealth government.”

“Historically, specialist services could only be accessed by travelling to Newcastle, leaving family and leaving Biripi country.  The Biripi people also opened a new self funded clinic in 2016 that is closer to the Bushland community where a large population demographic reside.”

“Biripi AMS is now 37 years old and the commissioning of these valuable new assets will help secure the financial viability of the organization into the future.”

PHN CEO Richard Nankervis said “The aim of the funding is to achieve better treatment and management of chronic conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by improving access to services and better care coordination”

“Major chronic diseases in our community include asthma, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and mental illness and it is vital that these conditions are effectively managed in primary care to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.”

“The alarming increase in preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity are placing and a huge financial burden on the financial sustainability of the health system and by conducting care coordination programs we can support the patient and facilitate their care needs so we can keep them out of hospital.”

“A key benefit of care coordination programs is that they are patient-centred, and this is a key focus of all the programs funded by the PHN. There is strong evidence that engaging patients more fully in their own healthcare not only improves the experience for patients and those who care for them but it also improves the quality of care and lessens the cost to all.”

Brett Cowling from Biripi AMS said “The funding provided through the Intergrated Team Care (ITC) program will make an important contribution to closing the gap in life expectancy by improving access to culturally appropriate primary care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”

“As part of this funding we will be providing care coordination activities that help patient’s get to medical appointments;  get the patient’s family or carer appropriately involved; utilising relevant electronic clinical software to maintain, update and where required transfer the patient’s medical records to improve  clinical handover and share clinical information with other members of the patients’ health care team”.