Making a Difference

Our effectiveness in conduction targeted health checks and assessments with key target groups continues to meet or exceed national averages.

BNMAC makes a difference by providing comprehensive primary health care services which include medical and dental services, chronic disease management, mental health, and health education programs covering substance use, sexual health and lifestyle management.

National research shows that there are a number of social determinants that impact on a person’s health and that the models of care that respond to a wide range of medical, social and emotional needs are more likely to produce the best results. Research also shows that the Community Controlled primary health care model is highly effective in providing much needed culturally appropriate health services to Aboriginal people.

BNMAC has a strong track record of achieving effective health outcomes for Aboriginal people in the mid-coast and northern rivers districts of NSW. This is evidenced through better than national averages in areas such as immunisation, chronic disease management and preventative health strategies.

Our strong focus on client health assessments is central to our model of care to prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote healthy lifestyles. In 2015 our effectiveness in conducting targeted health checks and assessments with key target groups continue to exceed national averages according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care data comparison.

Tackling Chronic Disease

Early onset type 2 diabetes is a growing problem in most Australian communities and is therefore a national health priority. If left undiagnosed or poorly managed type 2 diabetes can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputations and blindness. Effective management of chronic disease involves frequent monitoring and maintaining a longterm working relation with the client. Bulgarr Ngaru staff have strong ties with the Aboriginal community and are well placed to develop and maintain effective relationships to support a comprehensive health care approach.

Australian guidelines recommend a regime of regular monitoring and collaborative health care and lifestyle management through a General Practitioner Management Plan (GPMP).

Pregnancy Care

Lack of antenatal care during pregancy is an important risk factor contributing to low birth weight.

A first antenatal visit early in the pregnancy may be especially effective in reducing risk of low birth weight babies (Abdal Qadar et al. 2012)

Womens Health

Cervical cancer incidence and mortality are both higher in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women, with incidence more than twice and mortality five times that of non-indigenous women. (AIHW & AACR 2010)

The Australian Government has reviewed the National Cervical Screening Program for women. Previously, the program offered a free Pap smear test every two years to women between the ages of 18 and 70.

Following an independent review of the program, a number of changes will come into effect from 1 December 2017. The changes recognise the introduction in 2006 of a vaccine against specific strains of the human papilloma virus, which causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. The new screening program is designed to work together with the HPV vaccination program, to help reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.

The new Cervical Screening Test will now look for HPV (which causes almost all cervical cancers), not just abnormal cells (like the Pap smear test did)

  • If you have previously had a pap smear test – you should have your first HPV screening test two years after your last pap test
  • How often it’s needed – a better test means you will only need to screen every five years after your first HPV test
  • The starting age – the first test will be done at 25, rather than 18.