The aim of this MBS health assessment item is to help ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive primary health care matched to their needs, by encouraging early detection, diagnosis and intervention for common and treatable conditions that cause morbidity and early mortality.
For the purpose of this item, a person is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person if they, or their parent or carer, identify them as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. The MBS health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people covers the full age spectrum, and should be used for health assessments for the following age groups:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are less than 15 years old
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who are aged fifteen years and over but under the age of 55 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people who are aged 55 years and over
BMC offers ATSI health assessments to all our patients that fit the above criteria. Should you be a Centrelink Concession Card holder, your visit will be fully bulk billed under Medicare.
If you don’t have a C.C card and you are registered with Closing the Gap (CTG) your visit will also be bulk billed. If you are not yet registered with CTG, please let our staff know and they will arrange an appointment with our SIPS nurse to assist to become registered. The CTG can also assist you with a support person to accompany you to medical appointments, including specialists and allied health professionals.
At your ATSI Health Assessment, you will first see the nurse, this usually takes 40 minutes. During this visit, the BMC nurse will follow the required components of the Health Assessment in order to identify any issues you have or may not yet be apparent.
Once your visit with the nurse is completed, you will then see your usual GP in order to the complete your plan. Your doctor will customise the plan for your specific needs and will consult with you.
Components of the Health Assessment
The health assessment includes an assessment of the patient’s health, including their physical, psychological and social wellbeing. It also assesses what preventive health care, education and other assistance should be offered to the patient to improve their health and wellbeing. It complements existing services already undertaken by a range of health care providers.
This health assessment must include:
- information collection, including taking a patient history and undertaking examinations and investigations as required; •making an overall assessment of the patient;
- recommending appropriate interventions;
- providing advice and information to the patient;
- keeping a record of the health assessment, and offering the patient a written report about the health assessment, with recommendations about matters covered by the health assessment; and
- offering the patient’s carer (if any, and if the medical practitioner considers it appropriate and the patient agrees) a copy of the report or extracts of the report relevant to the carer.
As part of a health assessment, a medical practitioner may develop a simple strategy for the good health of the patient. The strategy should identify any services the patient needs and the actions the patient, or parent or carer, should take. It should be developed in collaboration with the patient, or parent or carer, and documented in the written report on the assessment that is offered to the patient, and/or patient’s carer.