Health Programs and Services
To learn more about any service, click to expand it. Please contact us with any questions or to enquire about booking for these services.
Health Checks (adult and child)
Having a health check provides important health information for you and your doctor and should take between 40-60 minutes.
Health Checks may be different depending on your age as there are different things that need monitoring at different stages of life.
You will often hear a health check referred to as an Adult Health Assessment or Child Health Check.
A Nurse or Aboriginal Health Worker may check your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight. You might also have a blood and urine test.
During your health check it’s also a good time to tell them about your family medical history or any worries you have about your health.
Depending on the information you’ve provided, you might have some other tests too. You’ll then have a yarn with the doctor or health practitioner about the tests and any follow up you might need.
Staying on top of your health and having a health check every year is important. It helps to identify potential issues, illnesses or chronic diseases before they occur. It is much easier to look at ways to prevent these things from occurring, rather than treatment.
PLAHS works closely with Country Connect (located at the Port Lincoln Hospital) to provide in-home Aged Care services to our elderly community.
Before being able to access this service, you will be required to complete a My Aged Care referral which PLAHS can support you with.
PLAHS also has a visiting Occupational Therapist who can provide in-home safety assessments.
The PLAHS Birthing program is a free service this program provides antenatal, birth and postnatal care. As a part of the program you will be cared for by an Aboriginal Maternal Infant Care (AMIC) Worker throughout your pregnancy, labour, birth and after your baby is born. A midwife will be available to you for antenatal and postnatal care.
Antenatal Care means care provided by a midwife, AMIC Worker and Doctor to you and baby while you are pregnant.
During your pregnancy, a midwife, AMIC Worker or your Doctor will schedule appointments and investigations according to how far along you are in your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are happy and healthy.
Community Midwifery is a 6 week service provided at home by a midwife and AMIC Worker after you have your baby.
ASQ Developmental Checks
ASQ Developmental Checks is a tool to help us check that your child is achieving their milestones according to their age.
If any delays are identified, we will provide families with learning activities to help you help your child to work towards achieving milestones.
Intensive Home visiting Program (IHVP)
The Intensive Home Visiting Program (IHVP) is a home visiting program where Families will receive support from a Registered Nurse and an Aboriginal Health Worker at home or at the clinic.
The program will be offered to families that are at risk and/or are experiencing complex medical needs. The Home visiting team will visit regularly to assist with advice and support to parents.
Strong Families Home Visiting Program (SFHVP)
The Strong Families Home Visiting Program (SFHVP) is a home visiting program where Mothers can choose to receive support from a Registered Nurse and an Aboriginal Health Worker at home or wherever they feel comfortable.
The program will be offered to women during pregnancy and includes regular visits until the baby turns one.
Whilst becoming a parent can be a new and exciting time for a woman, it can also be a difficult and challenging time. SFHVP can help you prepare for the birth of your new baby and help you deal with any concerns you may have as your baby grows.
Healthy Ears Program
Healthy Ears program is a screening program conducted at the Port Lincoln Children’s Centre. This program identifies ear health issues and children are placed on to the Hearing/ENT list.
Healthy Kids Clinic
The Healthy Kids Clinic team consists of an Aboriginal Health Worker, Nurse and a Doctor from PLAHS and sometimes joining the team is a Family Health Practitioner from Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS).
The Healthy Kids Clinic Team to visits the Children’s Centre on arranged dates throughout the year to:
- Assess children's development and identify developmental delays
- Promote early learning
- Refer children to Allied Health Professionals when required
- Provide education to children, parents and education officers
School Screening is a program that assesses the health and wellbeing of school children by our Aboriginal Health Workers, Nurses and Doctors.
During the screenings, if there are any identified health issues, parents or caregivers are notified by letter and/or a phone call and the health information is provided.
School screenings assess:
- Ear health
- HB (blood sugar level)
- Urine analysis
- Skin Checks
*Young people over the age of 16 have an STI screening and their Mental Health evaluated during their school screenings
Well Women’s Clinic
A Women’s health check consists of showing women how to self-examine their breasts, cervical screening (pap smear) and any other concerns a woman may have i.e. menopause, contraception.
PLAHS is involved in Scale-C program (Hepatitis C testing and treatment) in Aboriginal communities.
This program aims to eliminate Hepatitis C in our community.
For information about this program, please speak with a Health Worker or GP.
PLAHS provides an immunisation service for childhood and adults.
Please contact Reception to book in for all immunisations.
Counselling and Family Support
A counsellor is a person who you talk to so they can help you overcome difficulties in your life and make the changes you want to make.
Counsellors can help if you are struggling with stress or painful emotions. By talking through your problems or concerns, counsellors can help you to see solutions you didn’t know were there. They can also help you find ways to cope better and move forward in your life.
Our counsellor can help individuals or families who are facing problems such as stress, relationship troubles, grief and loss. They can also help people with referrals and link with other programs we offer and specialist services depending on the difficulty you’re facing.
Chronic Condition Management (long term)
PLAHS Chronic Condition program aims to support you to best manage any long term chronic conditions you may be living with.
We can support with education, self-management strategies, organise you to see a specialist and help coordinate your chronic condition plan.
Along with your GP, the Chronic Condition Program will help develop a GP Management Plan which will outline what chronic conditions you are living with and help develop a plan on how to best manage these to prevent complications.
PLAHS also has access to a Pharmacist [link to pharmacist page] who can help you with medication related questions.
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA)
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) is a state wide health service that offers a range of prevention, treatment and information services for people with alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues.
Our Social Emotional Wellbeing Team work closely with DASSA and can assist people to connect with them.
Detoxification is required before attending a residential rehabilitation; this can be done in hospital or at home or a combination of both depending on severity of dependence.
PLAHS offers a home detox for client’s who fit the criteria, this requires client to present daily for withdrawal assessment and medication.
Our Men’s Group aims to encourage the men in our community to look after their health and wellbeing with a combination of activities and education including nutritional support with Allied Services and special guest speakers.
Mental Health Support
The Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Team can help identify appropriate supports through assessing your recent mood.
We work closely with Eyre Regional Mental Health and Country Outback Health with access to Psychiatrists and Mental Health clinicians.
We also have a family Counsellor available and visiting Psychologist that comes in once a month.
Appointments with the Psychiatrist and Psychologist require a referral from your Doctor.
Respect Test - Sexually Transmitted Infections and Blood Borne Viruses testing
Each year PLAHS is involved in a 6 week intensive sexual health screening program in conjunction with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia.
Free and confidential sexual health check-ups are available through our GP clinics at any time.
Social and Emotional Wellbeing
The term social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) is used to describe the social, emotional, spiritual and cultural wellbeing of our people.
The term recognises a person’s connection to land, sea, culture, spirituality, family and community which are important and impact on their wellbeing. It also recognises that a person’s social and emotional wellbeing is influenced by policies and past events.
Another term that is often used when discussing wellbeing is mental health. Mental health is a term that has been used to describe how people think and feel, and how they cope with and take part in everyday life.
Many of our people observe mental health and mental illness as medical terms that focus too much on problems and do not properly describe all the factors that make up and influence wellbeing. Because of this, we prefer the term social and emotional wellbeing as it fits well within a holistic view of our health.
Culture and self-determination can be powerful protective factors in providing a safeguard to psychological distress.
Factors that have been identified as enhancing SEWB include; maintaining connection to country, spirituality, ancestry and kinship networks, as well as strong community governance and cultural continuity. Renewal of culture and our knowledge systems and the capacity for self-determination is fundamental to healing and supporting social and emotional wellbeing.
Social and emotional wellbeing may change across a person’s life course; what is important to a child may be quite different to what is important to an Elder.
If you would like to talk about your social emotional wellbeing, you can visit the SEWB Case Management Team once, or you can come back for more visits.
When you meet with a Caseworker, they might suggest you come back every week, or every few weeks, or just when you feel the need.
The Caseworker might also suggest that there are other people around you who could help, such as Job Network services, and they can help.
What to Expect from the Social and Emotional Wellbeing Case Management Team
Drug and Alcohol Dependency Support
Drug and Alcohol dependency support is provided Monday, Wednesday and Friday; if you are concerned about your use or someone else’s use and would like support or would just like some education/information.
Our Women’s Group aims to encourage the women in our community to look after their health and wellbeing with a combination of activities and education including nutritional support with Allied Services and special guest speakers.
Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (AHLO)
Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (AHLO) supports Aboriginal patients, families, community members and Port Lincoln Hospital staff.
We can support patients by:
- Improving healthcare services and maintain positive relationship within the Aboriginal community, other service providers and government departments
- A link between the medical teams and the patient/families, during the admission.
- Assisting upon discharge to ensure the patient/family are well supported and understands their future medical care.
- Providing education to the wider Port Lincoln Hospital Staff to increase understanding and respect of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; to ensure a culturally appropriate experience whilst in hospital.
We can provide face to face contact with clients, social and emotional support, engagement and advocacy for patients and their family, assisting with discharge planning and access resources, assist with enquiries for clients and families and follow-up care with clients.
Nunga Kids Café
Nunga Kid’s Café is a 5 week program offered to local schools for young people to gain and improve important life skills.
Our participants learn:
- how to prepare shopping lists
- how to meal plan
- how to budget
- food handling and hygiene
- cooking skills
Guests are invited to each week, including a community Elder, to talk about topics such as healthy eating, having a healthy mind and being a valued member of the community.
We have a visiting Dietician regularly throughout the year.
Dietitians are qualified professionals with the skills to provide expert nutrition and dietary advice.
They translate the latest scientific information into practical advice about what to eat.
Dietitians have university qualifications gained from courses accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). They keep up to date with new training and education, and meet the DAA’s guidelines for evidence-based practice.
Dietitians provide food and nutrition information, and support people to improve their health. They provide advice on nutrition-related matters.
Dietitians can also change diets to help manage conditions such as:
- heart disease
- overweight and obesity
- food allergies and intolerances.
- low iron (anaemia)
Optometrists are health professionals who are qualified to examine your eyes for vision and eye disorders, and for health problems involving the eyes. They can treat these problems, prescribe, supply and fit optical aids and provide expert advice on eye care and eye health.
Optometrists have a university qualification and must be registered with the Optometrists Registration Board to practise.
Optometrists are qualified to:
- diagnose eye disorders and diseases (such as cataract and glaucoma)
- pick up health disorders involving the eyes (such as diabetes and thyroid problems)
- examine eyes for vision disorders
- prescribe, fit and supply glasses and contact lenses
- analyse and treat eye coordination and focusing disorders
- prescribe other specialised optical aids
- contribute to the care of the partially sighted.
Home Medication Reviews (HMR)
A Home Medication Review is when a Pharmacist yarns to you, usually in your home, about your medications.
Your doctor may organise this for you.
Home Medication Reviews are useful when:
- You take more than 5 medicines a day
- If you have more than 3 chronic conditions
- Have recently spent time in hospital
- Are concerned about your medicines
- Are confused about your medicines
- If you do not always remember to take your medicines
- If you have problems using medicine-related devices for example inhalers, eye drops, injections, patches
- Changes in your medication , including new medicines
- If you take medicines that need close monitoring for side effects or efficacy e.g. insulin, warfarin,
- If you cannot understand when or why you take your medicines
- If you are worried you are having side effects from your medicines
- You are cared for by more than one doctor
The Pharmacist will then write a report for your doctor to discuss with you.
We have a visiting Pharmacist who you can speak with if you have questions about your medications or about the medications of someone you care for.
Integrated Team Care Program (ITC)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living with chronic conditions may be eligible for support through ITC.
A chronic condition is a condition that you have for a long period of time (present for at least 6 months) which may affect your ability to do your daily tasks or makes it harder for you to enjoy life.
Chronic conditions are unfortunately, very common in our community due to the changes in our lifestyles over the last 100 years.
The ITC program is designed to help you take control of your chronic condition so you can enjoy life.
Chronic conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Mental health conditions
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Chronic renal (kidney) disease
We can help you improve the prevention and management of your chronic condition with the support of an ITC Care Coordinator.
The ITC Care Coordinator at our service, is a Registered Nurse who has the clinical skills to help you understand your health needs, and when appropriate, assist with them.
They can will work with you and your doctor to help better manage your chronic condition. They can help you get better access to specialists, allied health workers and other community services that may be available to you.
Their job is to help you understand your health and work with you to best manage your chronic condition; avoiding you being hospitalised due to your condition is very important to the Care Coordinator.
The Care Coordinator can provide support to access Supplementary Services funding to eligible clients such as:
- Access to specialist appointments
- Transport to Adelaide
- PATS support
- Medical Fee’s (gaps)
- Support for medical aides
To qualify for this you must be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and have:
- A chronic condition
- A current care plan
- Had your annual Health Assessment
The ITC Care Coordinator at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service is able to link you to community support groups & agencies, help you attend your appointments and go with you at times if you don’t feel comfortable going alone.
If you think we might be able to help you out, please speak to your doctor about getting a referral to the ITC (Closing the Gap) program.
NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a government initiative to help people who have been diagnosed with a significant and permanent disability and or developmental delay.
NDIS enables those eligible to access funding for supports they need to achieve a better life for themselves, their families and carers.
We have a NDIS coordinator dedicated to helping the community on their NDIS journey by assisting people to access the scheme.
The NDIS role is support people by;
- Providing advocacy for clients across NDIS and other mainstream services
- Increasing awareness and helping people to understand NDIS
- Assisting people to meet access for NDIS
- Assisting with the gathering of supporting documents for an NDIS application
Occupational therapy provides support to people whose health or disability makes it hard for them to do the things they would like to do. An Occupational therapist can identify your strengths and difficulties, help with solutions, and help you to take part in everyday life.
Occupational therapy is used when someone is having difficulty with everyday tasks, that is, the tasks that occupy them. An Occupational therapist can identify your strengths and difficulties, such as dressing or getting to the shops, and will help you work out practical solutions. An Occupational therapist is often called an OT.
If you see an OT, they can help you maintain, regain or improve your independence by using different techniques, changing your environment and using new equipment.
Paediatricians are medical specialists who diagnose, treat and provide medical care for babies, children and teenagers. They deal with illnesses and the child's physical, mental and behavioural development.
Paediatricians treat a wide range of illnesses, injuries and conditions.
They treat babies, children and teenagers with:
- genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome
- disabilities such as cerebral palsy
- developmental delays
- chronic diseases such as diabetes
- infectious diseases such as meningitis
- asthma and allergies
- autism spectrum disorder
A Physiotherapist can treat you if you have a problem with pain or movement. Physiotherapy could help you become more mobile and make you more comfortable.
Physiotherapists diagnose and manage a broad range of conditions with the bones, muscles, cardiovascular system, nerves and other parts and systems of the body. They can help people to manage chronic diseases, give lifestyle advice, prescribe exercises and aids to help people manage better, and give advice.
When you go to see a physiotherapist, they might:
- massage areas of your body
- manipulate your joints
- stretch your muscles
- give you exercises to do
A Physiotherapist will assess your condition and help you with physical problems. These might have come about because of an accident or injury, or you may have had them most of your life.
Some Physiotherapists treat children who have problems with their movement. They also show parents how to improve their child’s quality of life.
When it comes to looking after your health, it’s easy to forget about your feet. But healthy feet are an important part of your overall wellbeing. Foot problems can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If they occur, podiatrists can help.
Podiatrists are experts in foot, ankle and lower limb health. They can help to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including:
- ingrown toenails
- heel and arch pain
- skin problems
- balance issues
They can also treat foot problems that arise from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Your Podiatrist’s recommendations might include specific exercises, the use of custom-made inserts for your shoes, or medications to treat skin conditions.
Some Podiatrists specialise in different areas of practice, including sports, children and workplace health.
Primary Health Care
PLAHS is a comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care provider.
If you have a mental illness, or are not coping well with things, your doctor may refer you to see a Psychiatrist.
Psychiatrists are doctors who are experts at diagnosing and treating mental health problems.
Psychiatrists diagnose and treat people with a mental illness or a mental disorder, such as:
- severe depression
- anxiety disorders, like panic attacks and phobias
- complex conditions, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
- eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychiatrists work in different ways and can use a combination of treatments including counselling, psychotherapy and medication.
You might need to see a psychiatrist if:
- your condition is severe
- it has lasted a long time, or continues to come back
- other treatment isn’t working
- you are thinking about self-harm or suicide
- your doctor believes you should see one
It’s important to work with your health professional to find a treatment that suits you.
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. They have studied how the mind works and how people think, react and behave.
If you are unhappy, stressed, confused or finding it difficult to cope, then seeing a psychologist might help. Knowing what psychologists do and how to get the right help for you is a good first step.
Your doctor can refer you to the Psychologist who will discuss with you know what the best treatment for you is.
You might visit a psychologist for help with problems such as:
- depression, anxiety or stress
- drug and alcohol abuse
- eating disorders
- fears and phobias
- low self-esteem
- post-traumatic stress disorder
A psychologist can also help you deal with challenges you may face in life such as:
- financial stress
- relationship breakups
- domestic violence
- grief or loss
During the Covid-19 pandemic PLAHS has created a Respiratory Clinic external to PLAHS main building site. This is to ensure the safety of our vulnerable community and workforce.
To access this clinic either call Reception or if you present to PLAHS, press the Respiratory Clinic button and wait for assistance.
Please do not attend PLAHS with any cold, flu or covid symptoms or if you have been in close contact with a positive covid case.
Please refer to SA Health for further current and up-to-date advice. [Link]
Transport is available for PLAHS clients to their appointments.
Unique Learning Centre
Having more Aboriginal people in the workforce to deliver professional, culturally appropriate care is vital to improving Aboriginal health.
The Unique Centre of Learning aims to contribute now and for the future to improving:
- Service delivery to Aboriginal people in education & training
- Workforce capacity
- Overall health outcomes for the Aboriginal community
Some services offered by the Unique Centre of Learning are:
- Academic counselling
- Relevant program & course information
- Advocacy & linkages to education & training providers, community & employment organisations
- Access to study resources: IT facilities, reference materials, secure place to study
- Application, enrolment & RPL procedures
- Financial resources advice for students: Abstudy, scholarships, cadetships, grants
- Peer support in a culturally safe learning environment
- Tuition: 1:1 and group, including via Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS)
*other services may be supported upon negotiation with the Coordinator