This review aims to provide an overview of the impact of kidney disease, specifically chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The review provides data on dialysis and transplant and the personal impact of this treatment on patients. Another treatment for CKD and ESKD is palliative care; the types of palliative care, patient's perspective and the improvements now being seen in this field. Kidney disease is a serious and growing health concern for Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular experience high levels of the disease, especially those people living in remote areas. There are number of things that can be done to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kidney care in Australia.
- There are number of things that can be done to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kidney care in Australia, including the establishment of partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, doctors, health professionals, peer support and governance in delivering health care, developing policy and research.
- Peer support can play an important and unique role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have experienced kidney disease, dialysis care and transplantation. One example is the NT’s Purple House Patient Preceptors who provide expert advice and reassurance to patients.
- It is vital that racism in the health system is addressed so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to health services that are effective, of high quality, that meet their needs and that they can afford.
- Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) have been working to address the social determinants of health for, and with their communities, and are in a good place to continue and expand this work. Health programs and services such as those provided by, and in collaboration with ACCHOs effectively address the impact of intergenerational marginalisation, poverty, grief and loss and racism.