Background The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy
gap is associated with lower primary care usage by
Indigenous Australians. Many Indigenous Australians
regard private general practitioners as their usual source of
healthcare. However, a range of barriers results in relatively
low access to primary care, with subsequent inadequate
prevention and management of chronic disease. Indigenous
primary care requires development of a set of attributes by
the GP. Clinician autonomy may need to be tempered to be
responsive to the needs of local indigenous communities.
Objective A partnership between an urban indigenous community
and a private general practice is described.
Discussion Over a period of 1 year, registered indigenous patients
at the private general practice clinic increased from 10
to 147; monthly attendance increased from five to 40
(p<0.001). Local engagement between private practices
and indigenous communities may be implemented widely
to reduce the primary care gap.
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