Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) are the fund holders for nine programs and provide 401 outreach services to rural, regional and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities across Victoria.
The programs work within health priorities that increase access to maternal and paediatric, mental health, chronic disease management and ear and eye health care for these communities.
The majority of programs provide funding to cover out of pocket expenses to support health professionals relating to the travel and associated costs of providing these vital health care services. With the Indigenous Eye and Ear Surgical Support Service extending funding to the patients and carers.
RHOF focuses on improving health outcomes for people living in rural and regional Victoria.
The scheme provides a flexible funding pool to support health professionals to deliver healthcare services in outreach locations by providing funding support to cover the basic costs of travel, accommodation, meals and other associated expenditure.
The priorities include: maternal and paediatric, mental health, chronic disease management and eye care for these communities.
The aim of Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program (MOICDP) is to increase access to a range of health services, including expanded primary health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the treatment and management of chronic diseases. A chronic disease is defined as a condition that has been (or likely to be) present for six months or more.
The priorities are the treatment and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, renal disease and cancer.
The aim of the Healthy Ears – Better Hearing, Better Listening (HEBHBL) program is to increase access to a range of health services including expanded primary health for Indigenous children and youth (0 – 21 years) for the diagnosis, treatment and management of ear and hearing health. Services supported through HEBHBL are delivered in MMM 2 – 7 locations.
RWAV are currently working with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) to pilot an ENT telehealth model in two locations to increase access to bulk-billing ENT services and better support surgical referral pathways.
The Outreach Visiting Optometrists Scheme provides access to eye services for people living in rural and regional locations. The scheme also aims to improve collaboration and communication between the eye health services and the visiting optometrists which will increase the quality of ongoing patient care.
Funding is available for a range of expenses incurred by optometrists providing the services including travel, accommodation, meals, facility fees and administrative support at the outreach location.
The Eye and Ear Surgical Support (EESS) program aims to reduce instances of avoidable blindness and deafness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations through expediting access to eye surgery (largely cataracts) and/or ear surgery for conditions resulting from Otitis Media.
The aims of the Indigenous Eye Health Coordination project is to improve access to eye health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients across the full spectrum of eye care, to ensure integration of services from referral, initial consultations, to treatment and back to community; therefore providing a continuum of care at each touch point along the client journey. This is a component of the Closing the Gap – Improving Eye and Ear Health Services for Indigenous people.
The aim of the Ear Health Coordination program is to enhance the monitoring and treatment of ear and hearing health in primary care, with a particular focus on supporting access to quality and culturally safe ear and hearing health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth.
The Program objective is to improve ear and hearing health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by embedding regular, best practice surveillance and treatment (including referral for follow-up treatment) as part of the usual practice in primary health care clinics.
The Ear and Hearing Health Follow-up Services provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who receive hearing assessments under the HAP-EE program to access the required follow-up services through RWAV’s Outreach services: HEBHBL, EESS, and MOICDP.
The objective of the services is to facilitate timely access to culturally appropriate, multidisciplinary ear and hearing health services provided by visiting health professionals such as ENT specialists and speech pathologists.
RWAV was granted funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health to support specialist pain management services delivered through the RHOF program, prioritised to those areas showing the greatest need.
Funding is made available to meet the pain management needs of communities to access specialist, multidisciplinary pain management services such as psychology, psychiatry, physiotherapy, social work and nursing providers.
Improving access to such services will directly reduce the overuse and potential harms of prescription opioids being used for chronic long-term pain management, which is best managed by non-pharmacological treatment.
If you are a health professional who is interested in providing an outreach service in Victoria please submit out your expression of interest here.
If you are already a service provider and need to request any additional visits please complete the form here.
If you are seeking support for a new service to be provided at your organisation, please submit your expression of interest here.
For more information on the Outreach programs, or if you require any assistance please call (03) 9349 7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.