Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote Northern Territory communities experience extremely high rates of end stage kidney disease. As renal services are limited in remote areas, most patients must relocate permanently to urban areas for treatment. However, as a consequence of social housing shortages in urban areas, patients experience housing exclusion and risk of homelessness.
The Issues Brief recommends that the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments should consider an integrated care package that addresses the broader care needs of renal patients, including housing needs, in partnership with patients, families, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health and Housing Organisations, Aboriginal Medical Services and other stakeholders.
Options for addressing patients’ needs through an integrated care package include: Interpreting NDIS eligibility criteria to recognise the impairments sustained by renal patients; and/or Developing a new care package specifically targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander renal patients.