Celebrating the national award are (from left) Helena Johnston (UNSW School of Rural Health), Leonie Knight (North Coast GP Tra
Celebrating the national award are (from left) Helena Johnston (UNSW School of Rural Health), Leonie Knight (North Coast GP Tra

Model health service making a difference

By DAVID MOASE

GALAMBILA Aboriginal Health Service is a model for any disadvantaged population, according to Dr John Kramer, the chair of the North Coast Division of General Practice (NCDGP).

Dr Kramer and the other members of the NCDGP are celebrating after being recognised from among 118 divisions nationwide for their work in the field of Aboriginal health.

The division is a founding member of the Galambila Aboriginal Health Partnership that works to turn around what Dr Kramer described as 'the terrible, terrible health standards' among the indigenous population, where life expectancy is about 20 years shorter than in the general population.

"What we do here is a practical attempt to make a difference," he said.

"Galambila is a model for any disadvantaged population."

As an example of what has been achieved, Dr Kramer said the immunisation rate among patients of Galambila was at 97 per cent, some 10 per cent above the rate for the whole community.

While it was the GPs who were recognised by their colleagues with the award, they were keen to point out that a lot of what has been achieved at Galambila is a partnership with other health organisations.

The clinic is used as a training practice by North Coast GP Training and the University of NSW School of Rural Health.



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