My cousin has been too sick to go to school because of repeated ear infections (otitis media). This is common for people in our local Aboriginal community. I have noticed at family gatherings she is having trouble when talking to other people. I am worried about her and would like to find some help for her. I am not sure what services there are for her in our community. Who can give me more information about how to help her?
What services are available?
The Department of Health is assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with speech, language and communication disorders through a number of programs.
Healthy Ears - Better Hearing, Better Listening Programme
Healthy Ears - Better Hearing, Better Listening Programme (HEBHBL) improves access to ear and hearing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, with a focus on rural and remote locations. The programme supports multidisciplinary outreach services provided by a range of health professionals, including audiologists and speech pathologists.
This program aims to increase access to a range of services including expanded primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth (0-21 years) for the diagnosis, treatment and management of ear and hearing health. HEBHBL will build on existing outreach services and establish new services with a focus on ear and hearing health.
Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Programme
The Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Programme (MOICDP) improves access to health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with chronic disease and supports the delivery of a wide range of medical outreach services. MOICDP supports costs associated with delivery of the following outreach health activities including:
- Allied health services;
- Combinations of eligible services (i.e. multidisciplinary teams); and
- Outreach GP services.
Speech Pathologists are classified as allied health services and can be accessed under the MOICDP.
How do I find a speech pathologist?
Speech Pathology Australia is a national organisation that represents and supports Speech Pathologists. You can find information about speech pathology and speech pathology services from their website.