Program set to improve medication access for Indigenous Australians


Tuesday, 27 October, 2020


Program set to improve medication access for Indigenous Australians

Metro North Hospital and Health Service is launching a pharmaceutical program that will allow greater access to medications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients visiting its facilities.

The Better Together Medication Access program will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients have access to any medications needed upon discharge from hospital with no out-of-pocket expense.

Redcliffe Hospital Director of Pharmacy Geoffrey Grima said the program would improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who have an increased susceptibility to chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“First Nations Australians have a disease burden 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians, which means they may require more medications to treat more illnesses,” Grima said.

“We know medications can be expensive, and when a number of medications are required to treat various illnesses, this can add up quickly, making the process burdensome for patients.

“We’re pleased to announce at all our hospitals we can now offer discharge medication at no out-of-pocket expense to patients who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, allowing patients to have greater convenience in picking up their medications and a quicker road to recovery, while reducing the chances of readmission.”

Proud Indigenous woman and retired nurse Sandra Blackman said she was pleased to see Metro North leading the charge with this initiative.

“I spent years as a nurse and saw the impact of when a patient can’t get their medication, which often comes at a cost to their health where they’ll end up feeling worse and may require readmission to hospital or more visits to feel well,” Blackman said.

“Excitingly, by identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander at Metro North hospitals, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients can now easily collect their medication and can focus their efforts on feeling better.”

Better Together Medication Access is now available across all Metro North Hospital and Health Service facilities including Redcliffe, Caboolture, Kilcoy, The Prince Charles and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospitals, and Community and Oral Health.

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