Promoting the wellbeing of Aboriginal people is more important than ever

WA Primary Health Alliance is supporting general practice to ensure patients who may be more at risk of COVID-19 and complications get the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among those identified as being at higher risk during the current pandemic are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) people.

With Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and private general practice having a significant role to play in improving the health of this group, our Aboriginal Health COVID-19 Working Group has developed an Aboriginal Health Checklist for GPs to use.

This checklist focuses on managing chronic conditions, while acknowledging the centrality of culture to an Aboriginal person.

It encourages GPs to remind patients about COVID-19 preventative measures, to discuss chronic conditions and ongoing self-care, and how to protect and improve recovery, if the patient does contract the virus.

This checklist has been sent to GPs who treat Aboriginal patients, and our staff have followed up to find out if GPs need further support or information.

Our representation on the state health Aboriginal Advisory Group has allowed us to work closely with WA Department of Health to ensure notification of a person’s usual GP following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis to ensure ongoing support in the community setting.

We have recently published a special edition of our GP Update, dedicated to Aboriginal health, with information relevant to caring for Aboriginal patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.