Indigenous Health

Closing the Gap on Indigenous Health Outcomes
Close-the-Gap-001

Information about the Indigenous Health Incentive and PBS Co-payment Measure
The Australian Government has introduced two new programs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians better manage their health, especially chronic diseases. The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) Indigenous Health Incentive is a program for your doctor or clinic to help you manage your chronic disease/s and to make sure you get access to the care you need. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Measure will give you access to cheaper medicines. You normally have to pay some or all of the cost of PBS medicines and this is called a co-payment. The PBS Co-payment Measure will reduce this co-payment for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

What is Chronic Disease?
A chronic disease is an ongoing illness you have had-or are likely to have-for at least six months. Some chronic diseases include:
* Asthma
* Cancer
* Heart Disease
* Diabetes
* Arthritis
* Stroke

Can I be part of the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive?
You can be part of the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive if you:
* are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin
* are aged 15 years and over
* have chronic disease/s and
* have a current Medicare card

Can I join the PBS Co-payment Measure?
You can join the PBS Co-payment Measure if you:
* are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, and
* have an existing chronic disease or chronic disease risk factor.

How will the PBS Co-Payment Measure help me?
If you are a general patient – which means you do not have a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) concession card – you will only pay the concessional co-payment amount (currently under $6 for each medicine). If you have a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) concession card, or if you or your family has reached the PBS Safety Net threshold, then you will not have to pay anything at all. For more information about the PBS Safety Net, talk to your pharmacist.

What if I don’t have a current Medicare card?
If your Medicare card is not current, or you don’t have one, talk to your health worker, visit your local Medicare office or call the Medicare Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access and Employment line on 1800 556 955.

How can I be part of these programs?
You will need to fill out a patient consent form and give it to your doctor or practice staff member. The form is available from your doctor or clinic.

For more information regarding these programs, click here.