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From vision to reality: a centre of excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care

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A centre for high-quality, culturally safe primary care, research and teaching, and improved access to specialists is open for business

Access to medical services continues to be problematic for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are barriers relating to availability, affordability, acceptability and appropriateness, and the latter two are particularly relevant in urban areas.1 National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) models of care redress these barriers.2 Five years ago, we described how the Inala Indigenous Health Service (IIHS), a Queensland Government-funded primary care service in Brisbane, had adopted the key principles underpinning the NACCHO models of care and established a culturally secure health service with an associated increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients from 12 in 1994 to over 3000 in 2008.3 Here we report on the expansion and maturation of the IIHS into the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (CoE).

The CoE aims to improve access to health care and health outcomes by providing high-quality, integrated primary and secondary care, training for the next generation of health care professionals, a research agenda focusing on chronic disease and health service delivery,…