Report

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health care in Queensland

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations oral health case studies
Publisher
Health services accessibility Indigenous health Oral health Queensland
Description

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) calls for optimal oral health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland. Where oral health services have been embedded within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations (ATSICCHOs), it has proven to have greater community uptake, they have overcome access barriers, increased utilisation and had a direct impact on the level of periodontal disease and dental carries which risk chronic disease.

Key Findings:

  • More than two in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples over the age of 15 defer or avoid dental care due to cost. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations (ATSICCHOs) describe a high demand for free dental services, notably by the ‘working poor’ who are not eligible for public services.
  • Food insecurity and issues of not having access to affordable, quality, healthy foods also affect peoples’ oral health. These barriers are often also faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in urban areas.
  • There is no statewide policy for prioritisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples although they are evidenced to be of the highest need.
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should have proficient oral health literacy to enable informed and confident decision making for themselves and their family.

The Department of Health, Queensland Health and QAIHC need to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the choice to access free, tailored oral health services that reach them where they are. Hospital and Health Services and ATSICCHOs should be supported to co-commission, co-design and co-locate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within ATSICCHOs.

Publication Details