This edition of the Australian guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) has a new focus which places people and their families and communities, at the centre of care. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples affected by ARF and RHD appears to be increasing; in mid-2016, there were 4549 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who had been hospitalised for ARF or RHD since 2001 across the NT, SA, QLD and WA.
- Cultural and structural competencies in healthcare are necessary to close the evidence-practice gap. An ethnomedical framework (respecting and incorporating traditional Indigenous medical practices) should be used to inform guideline development.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce participation as an essential element within all health workforce initiatives, settings and strategies.
- ARF and RHD death rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the NT were higher at all ages than in the other jurisdictions. Death rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were higher than rates for non-Indigenous Australians in all jurisdictions.