Annual health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The health check is designed to support the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients of all ages.

Page last updated: 24/03/2021

We acknowledge that many individuals refer to themselves by their clan, mob, and/or country. For the purposes of the health check, we respectfully refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander throughout.

Your Health is in Your Hands

Having a health check provides important health information for you and your doctor.

Staying on top of your health is important. A health check can helps to identify potential illnesses or chronic diseases before they occur. It is much easier to look at ways to prevent these things from occurring, rather than treatment. It is also a chance for you to chat with your healthcare team about anything that is worrying you or that you might need support with. It is your health check so your priorities are important.

A health check can only be conducted with your consent, it is important that your doctor explains this to you and you agree to having one completed.

What happens at the health check?

Having the health check can take up to an hour. It usually involves more people than the doctor, a Practice Nurse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner or Health Worker may also be involved in your health check. They will record information about your health, such as your health priorities or goals, measure things like your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight. You might also be asked if you are comfortable to have a blood test or urine test. It is also an opportunity to talk about the health of your family.

Depending on the information you have provided, you might have some other tests too. You will then have a yarn with the doctor or health practitioner about the tests and any follow up you might need. It is also good to tell them about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access a health check annually, with a minimum claim period of nine (9) months. Health checks are free at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and bulk bulling clinics to help people stay healthy and strong.

Older people who live in a Residential Aged Care Facility can also have a health check from a visiting GP without having to travel to a clinic.

Information for patients to support uptake of health checks

Currently only about 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are accessing the 715 health check. Resources have been developed to help improve the uptake of health checks in the community. These are available for patients, community organisations, PHNs and GP clinics to download or order

Video Case Studies

Social Media Tiles

2 boys stand with a woman in a school basketball court. They look happy and healthy/
An Aboriginal Health worker measures the weight of a child was part of the 715 health check.
A doctor takes a man’s pulse as part of the 715 health check.

Podcasts

To order resources please email info@33creative.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens at the health check?

Health checks might be different depending on your age.

Having the health check should take between 40-60 minutes. If you are comfortable, a health practitioner might check your:

  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar levels
  • height and weight
  • urine

It is also good to tell your health practitioner about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health.

Follow up care

Once you finish the check, the Practice Nurse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner/Health Worker or might tell you about other ways to help look after your health. They might suggest services to help you with your:

  • heart
  • vision
  • hearing
  • movement
  • mental health

You may also get help with free or discounted medicines you might need. Your Doctor can give you information about Closing the Gap scripts if you have or at risk of having a chronic disease.

Where can you access a health check?

You can choose where you get your 715 health check. If you can, try to go to the same doctor or clinic.

This helps make sure you are being cared for by people who know about your health needs.

Do I need to pay for the health check?

The health check is free at your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. It is also free at bulk billing health clinics. If you are unsure whether it will be free at your local health clinic, give them a call to ask about the 715 health check before you book.

Why Should I Identify?

It is important to tell the Doctor if you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so that they can make sure you get access to health care you might need. Medicare can help record this for you, and their staff are culturally trained to help.

Call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access line on 1800 556 955. This line can help to get services that match your needs. Staff are culturally trained and can match you to the right Medicare services.

Information for Health Professionals

For more information about for health professionals and medical practitioners delivering the715 health checks please go to Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.