Coming to town: Reaching agreement on a thorny issue

Coming to town: Reaching agreement on a thorny issue Journal Article

Australian Journal of Rural Health

  • Author(s): Wapau, Hylda, Jans, Diana, Hapea, Emily, Mein, Jacki, Curnow, Venessa, McDonald, Malcolm
  • Published: 2018

Abstract: Objective To describe the process of gaining consensus across regional organisations in formulating measures to improve coordination of care for people from remote Far North Queensland communities coming to town (Cairns) to access health care. Design This is a descriptive study that includes survey data from workshop participants. Setting Coming to town for health care poses great challenges, especially for Indigenous Australians from remote communities. Numerous organisations are involved, communications are fragmented and there is no central coordinating body. The system frequently fails to deliver necessary services. This generates preventable cost burdens through missed flights, missed appointments, missed treatment opportunities and extra administration. Workshop organisers invited key service providers from across Far North Queensland. Main outcome measures Using real-case scenarios, the task was to identify and prioritise the central issues and explore ways to address them. Participants jointly crafted the final recommendations and also posted suggestions on a ‘wish-list’ board. A participant assessment survey was conducted at the end of the workshop, followed by an online survey 6 weeks later. Results There were 32 participants. The concluding survey indicated the workshop was well received and people valued the collaboration. There were six primary recommendations plus numerous wish-list suggestions. The best-supported recommendation was establishment of a coming to town Hub with a local coordinating team and community-based representatives. Conclusion Implementation of the workshop recommendations and support of all key service providers should be culturally acceptable and resource-efficient with better health outcomes for travellers, their families and communities.

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Wapau, Hylda, Jans, Diana, Hapea, Emily, Mein, Jacki, Curnow, Venessa, McDonald, Malcolm, 2018, Coming to town: Reaching agreement on a thorny issue, Journal Article, viewed 15 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14209.

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