The Public Health Network (PHN) is a forum for health professionals working in the community-controlled sector as well as others with Aboriginal primary health care (and public health) expertise – regardless of profession or employer.

The broad aims of the network are:

  • To discuss public health issues that affect indigenous health in the NT;
  • To inform clinicians of changes to the health service sector, including changes to specialist services and the allied health sector;
  • To obtain feedback from clinicians about barriers to providing primary health care including funding, staffing and wider health system issues, that can inform AMSANT’s advocacy and policy work;
  • To provide information to clinicians about AMSANT’s current policy and advocacy work and to obtain input from clinicians into this work.

The PHN is a forum to discuss issues in common across the NT – not a lobby group in itself. Issues raised by the PHN are taken by members back to their employing organisations to be addressed through their own processes. Issues affecting ACCHO staff may be addressed by the PHMOs through the Public Health Advisory Group and then through action at Board level if necessary. The PHN provides a useful point for cross-sector networking and information sharing. Currently the PHN email list numbers approximately 300 contacts.

Issues discussed by the PHN in the last few years have included: Child Health Checks (during Intervention time), Child Sexual Abuse, new Child Health Growth Charts, H1N1 Pandemic Swine Flu, Evacuation issues, PIRS (Patient Information and Recall Systems), Medicare, MSOAP (Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program), Continuous Quality Improvement, Tobacco, Pharmacy, the Under 16 reporting of sexual activity and contact tracing for STIs.

Specific activities of the PHN:

  1. Teleconferences are held on  Wednesday  from 4 – 5pm. We are open to input on topics and speakers of interest to the PHN. We try to share audio recordings of the teleconference and a written single page of highlights in the week following.
  2. Two Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have been established – one on Maternal Health and one on Sexual Health, due to requests from PHN members.

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