Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS) Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies reaffirmed the service’s commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes at the DDHHS Close the Gap Day event at Cherbourg Hospital today.
"It’s been 10 years since the COAG Closing the Gap initiatives began and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health remains a priority of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service," Dr Gillies said.
"There are more than 14,000 people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in our HHS area, and we are continually investing in projects and services that make a real difference to the communities we serve.
"To do this we are working in collaboration with our partner organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to identify and then close the gaps in our service provision through the implementation of innovative programs and initiatives."
Dr Gillies said a range of initiatives were delivering improved outcomes to patients in the South Burnett.
"The expansion of renal services in the South Burnett has resulted in more dialysis chairs in Kingaroy and Cherbourg hospitals, which means less travel for people needing to access these services, and that is something we are very proud of," he said.
"We are also working to reduce the incidence of discharge against medical advice by increasing our emphasis on discharge with medical support, which means if a patient chooses to leave hospital early, and it is medically safe to do so, our staff can provide support to help them.
"Our commitment to providing culturally appropriate care is unwavering, and it is very pleasing to see that more than 90 per cent of our workforce, from the Board down, has completed Cultural Capability training.
"We are actively involved in a range of programs with our partner organisations including Carbal Medical Services; Goondir Health Services; Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement; and Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Service – CRAICCHS.
"While we are very proud of the work we have done up to this point, we recognise that there is still much to do.
"The vision of the DDHHS is ‘Caring for our Communities: Healthier Together’ and that vision underpins our commitment to working with you, listening to you and welcoming you to be part of our planning and service delivery, so we can continue to do our part to close the gap."