$1.2M to fund primary health care outreach nurse for KI

6 Oct 2020

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has secured $1.2 million in the 2020/21 Budget for a nursing outreach program for Kangaroo Island.

The program, announced in today's Federal Budget, is expected to provide a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner to complement the existing public and private health services on the Island. The service could include visits to patients living outside the main centre of Kingscote.

"Access to health care is a key issue right across Mayo but the further you live from Adelaide the more acute that lack of access is felt and that is particularly true on Kangaroo Island," Rebekha said this week.

"Residents on the Island told me they would like to have an outreach service that would travel beyond Kingscote to help them manage their medical conditions and I am pleased that the Government has listened and acknowledged my advocacy and provided funding to develop a program.

"The broad skill set of a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner would be a welcome addition to the Island community and an outreach model would complement the existing public and private health services offered in this remote setting."

Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners draw on expert clinical knowledge and use comprehensive and holistic nursing approaches to ensure co-ordination of care across a range of patient services, including management of chronic illness.

As highly experienced clinicians with an in-depth knowledge of the health system, Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners can also support patients to improve their health literacy and capacity to self-manage their conditions.

"I am anticipating that the nurse practitioner program would partner with the Kangaroo Island Health Service and harness SA Health’s already established policies and governance surrounding existing Nurse Practitioner outreach models," Rebekha said.

"The nurse practitioner would also liaise closely with the local GP clinic and regional health services to help patients access services in the right place, at the right time and by the right healthcare professional.

"I am sure that the Government will recognise the reality of rural and remote health care recruitment and will provide appropriate housing and relocation support."

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