New health centre tackles local issues from region

Ebony SwetmanPilbara News

Pilbara residents have access to improved health services after Kimberley Pilbara Medicare Local opened its doors last week in Roebourne area town Karratha. KPML was set up to co-ordinate primary health care delivery and deal with local health needs. Staff will work with local doctors, nurses, allied health staff, Aboriginal health workers, hospitals, health networks and Aboriginal medical services. KPML chief executive Chris Pickett said the office would determine what the specific healthcare needs of the Pilbara are and plan measures to address them. “We will be able to pick particular problems in the area and work out what the needs are,” he said. KPML will also focus on closing the gap on Aboriginal health outcomes. Life expectancy for Aboriginal people is currently 15 years less than non-Aboriginal people. “We will have people who can work one on one with Aboriginal people and deliver a range of services like child healthcare and outreach workers,” he said. The KPML is also assisting with rollout of the National Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, giving people access to and control over their health record. Mr Pickett believes this is especially relevant for FIFO workers in the Pilbara who can access their health records even if their GP lives in another city. The first KPML office was established in Broome last year and has already arranged the delivery of $15 million of health programs across the Kimberley. “We are already making a significant difference,” he said.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails