Sector News
28 March 2018

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have joined forces to produce a guide that aims to improve the level of healthcare currently being delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and close the gap.

The reviewing and updating of the second (2012) edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a practical resource intended for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Its purpose is to provide GPs and other health professionals with an accessible, user-friendly guide to best practice preventive healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

“The National Guide will support all healthcare providers, not just GPs, across Australia to improve prevention and early detection of disease and illness,” Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Associate Professor Peter O’Mara said. “The prevention and early detection of disease and illness can improve people’s lives and increase their lifespans. It will support healthcare providers to feel more confident that they are looking for health issues in the right way.”

"The latest edition highlights the importance of individual, patient-centred care and has been developed to reflect local and regional needs,” said Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM, who launched the document at Australian Parliament House. “Integrating resources like the National Guide across the whole health system plays a pivotal role in helping us meet our Closing the Gap targets.”

The updated National Guide includes a thorough update of all chapters, a new young people lifecycle summary wall chart and new screening and testing recommendations for all sexually active young people. ASHM clinical advisors reviewed the chapter on sexual health and blood-borne viruses which also includes information on PrEP eligibility.


The following items are available to download:

  • the National Guide, which contains evidence statements, recommendations, risk calculation tables and an outline of what is new in the third edition
  • the evidence base: the collection of evidence underpinning the guide and recommendations (see the Methodology section ‘Searching the evidence base and drafting recommendations’) 
  • child, young people and adult lifecycle summary wall charts listing activities recommended at each age group

The National Guide can be used in conjunction with the RACGP Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice ‘red book’ and with the Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate item 715: Health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 


Workshops for health professionals

Workshops for health professionals on how to maximise the opportunity for disease prevention at every health service visit are being held across the country to coincide with the release of the updated National Guide. For further details, please contact RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health on or 1800 000 251.


Download the Guideline and supporting documentation

The National Guide is available on the RACGP website [links above] or request a hardcopy from RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health on or 1800 000 251.