A new service aimed at improving heart health for First Nations people has been launched by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.
Heart disease is a leading contributor to the mortality gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians. Recognising this critical issue, WBHHS has developed the Better Cardiac Care program to reduce health issues associated with cardiac conditions among the First Nations community.
WBHHS Board Chair Peta Jamieson said Better Cardiac Care was all about achieving the goals outlined in both the WBHHS Strategic Plan and its First Nations Health Equity Strategy.
“Last year, we developed our First Nations Health Equity Strategy, and made a commitment to better health outcomes for First Nations communities. Now we are delivering on that promise, with this initiative that provides culturally appropriate, holistic care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Jamieson said.
“Better Cardiac Care will improve access to cardiac services for First Nations people, as well as providing education and support to manage their heart health effectively.”
The Better Cardiac Care team includes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker, a clinical nurse consultant and a pharmacist which WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said provided patients with a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and cultural understanding.
“By identifying risk factors, diagnosing heart disease and heart failure in its early stages, we can put patients in touch with a multidisciplinary team of professionals who provide preventive care, advice and support,” Ms Carroll said.
“This dedicated and diverse team is providing care that represents a significant step forward in addressing the heart health challenges faced by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”
“The Better Cardiac Care service supports First Nations patients whether they are currently inpatients or in a private hospital or they have been referred for an angiogram following an emergency presentation.
“The team acts like a case manager for each patient by removing barriers and ensuring they can access appointments, providing education on their treatment, advocating for the patient’s needs and linking them to other support networks in the community.
“It’s a great step forward as our health service seeks to close the gap when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality rates in our region.”
This initiative aligns with our strategic plan objectives Equity and access.
To find out more about our 2022-2026 strategic plan Care, connection, compassion for all, click here.