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Closing the Gap program and your health

If you live on Thursday Island, Hammond Island and Prince of Wales Island you may have to pay for prescription medication.

What does this mean for you?

Are you of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent?

Fill out a form at your nearest health centre.

Every year if you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent and you have a valid Medicare card you need to fill out the Closing the Gap (CTG) form at your primary health care centre. Bring your Medicare card with you.  

Registration takes place every year  

In order to continue supporting your local primary health care centre you will need to re-register.

If you live elsewhere in the Torres Strait you should still fill out the form. If you see a doctor outside the Torres Strait you must tell them you are a Closing the Gap patient to make sure you get subsidised medication.

The Closing the Gap program means we can give you better health care. You can visit us for a free health check.


If you are not of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent

Residents of Thursday Island, Hammond Island and Prince of Wales Island are required to pay for prescription medication.

If you are on a blister pack you will not be affected. Your medications will still be subsidised.

If you have a valid concession or health care card your medication will be discounted.

If you are concerned please talk to your doctor or your pharmacist.


Closing the Gap (CTG) questions

I filled out the form last year, do I have to again this year?

Yes, registration takes place every year.  To continue to receive free prescription medication your registration needs to be renewed annually.

How do I know when my registration is due for renewal?

Contact your nearest primary health care centre and ask when your registration is due.

What if I am eligible but I don’t want to fill out the form?

If you don’t fill in the form you may start paying for your prescription medication.  This came in from 1 February 2018.

What if I am not of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent?

You are not eligible for Closing the Gap (CTG) and required to pay for your prescription medication. If you have a valid concession or health care card your medication will be discounted.

What if I am on a blister pack?

If you get your medication as a blister pack you will not be affected – your medication will still be subsidised. However, if you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent you still need to sign up for CTG.

What if I am of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent but don’t have a valid medicare card?

The reception staff at the Community Wellness Centre on Thursday Island can help you get a Medicare card or renew your card. Or, you can call the Medicare Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander line 1800 556 955.

What if I don’t live on Thursday Island, Hammond Island or Prince of Wales Island?

If you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island descent you should still sign the CTG form in order to continue to support your local primary health care centre.

What if I’m eligible but I’m under 18?

Your parent or guardian can fill in and sign the form for you.

How do the multiple/family forms work?

Fill in the form and everyone over 18 has to sign the patient consent form (the last page).


Last updated: 1 February 2019