Comprehensive and integrated primary care is well documented in the research literature as providing the most cost-effective and equitable mechanism for preventing and managing chronic disease. Yet despite a growing body of research supporting this form of care, it often appears to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket of governments and policy makers.
This is particularly strange given that we already have a large number of successful examples of this form of care around the country in the form of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). As NACCHO Char Justin Mohammed outlined in the previous post, ACCHO’s have played an essential role in achieving improvements in the health status of Indigenous people.
There is a great deal that the mainstream health sector could learn from ACCHOs and yet this knowledge transfer does not appear to be occurring. The reasons for this, along with a broad range of other issues, were discussed at a recent Research Symposium held at the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University.
Racism, cultural cringe, and a dominant private sector paradigm were suggested by participant and ‘critical friend’ Tony McBride as reasons why the broader health sector has not learnt as much as it could from ACCHOs.
In the following piece, Professor Fran Baum and Dr Toby Freeman, from the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University Adelaide, report on this issue and the broader findings of the Symposium. They write: