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Hospital helps to close the health gap

Latrobe Regional Hospital will strengthen links with local Koori health service providers at its inaugural Close the Gap Day event this week.

The day will encourage an exchange of information and ideas between LRH and the providers to help address the health needs of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

National Close the Gap Day on 19 March will raise awareness about indigenous health issues and the need to invest in partnerships to ensure indigenous people have equal access to health care.

LRH Aboriginal Service Development Officer, Gina Bundle said the campaign aimed to close the health and life expectancy gap by 2030.

“We know Aboriginal people are at risk of poor health outcomes and have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and cancer than non-indigenous Australians,” Ms Bundle said.

“While there are good services available across Gippsland, we need to do more to encourage and support Aboriginal people to use them and the key to that is for health providers to work together and share their expertise.”

Koori health providers will set up displays in the foyer near the Monash School of Rural Health entrance for hospital staff and the community to learn more about the services available to Aboriginal people.

The health providers will be taken on tours of some of the services at LRH which indigenous people are most likely to use.

“We want to show our partners in health care what is available for Koori people and how they go about accessing these services – whether that is for emergency care or kidney dialysis for example,” Ms Bundle said.

“We also want to learn about the services they provide to ensure there is a continuing pathway of care for our Koori patients when they are discharged.”

 

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