Clinical Services

Primary Health Care

At each of our sites PAMS aims to deliver high quality culturally appropriate primary health care. An integrated service delivery model staffed by a multidisciplinary team (of both resident and visiting health professionals) provides a broad range of primary health services to the Martu people of our communities. The majority of day to day care is provided by a team of remote area nurses who also provide after-hours emergency care as required. Our medical practitioner is based at Jigalong but undertakes fortnightly trips via charter plane to our other three communities of Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji. Core primary health care programs delivered at each of our sites include child and maternal health, school health, immunisations, well person checks across the lifespan, sexual health, mental health, rheumatic heart disease, school health, maternal health and men’s and women’s health.

Chronic Disease Management Program

The Martu population that PAMS services has a very high burden of preventable chronic conditions. Our primary health care focus, coupled with our comprehensive Chronic Disease Management Program aims to both prevent the development of chronic disease and also screen for early warning signs. Clients and families with chronic disease are reviewed regularly and supported to participate as fully as possible in their own self-management. Through the provision of ongoing monitoring, education and support PAMS aims to assist clients to live their best lives. Clients receive chronic disease medications free of charge at all PAM’s clinics. Chronic disease clients are supported to travel to Perth, Newman and Port Hedland to undertake specialist review and a number of visiting services (including a renal physician and allied health teams) travel regularly to each of the PAMS communities to provide care to clients.

Child and Maternal Health Program

The Maternal & Child Health Program delivered by PAMS embraces the concepts described in the “National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013 – 2023” and the supporting frameworks as described in the “National Framework for Health Services for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children & families”. The program’s goals is to provide evidence based, best practice services to ATSI mothers and babies ensuring a strong foundation for lifelong physical and mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.

Key Elements of Service Delivery

  • Acknowledgment of the importance of the period from pre-conception and conception through the early years of a child’s life.
  • Services developed around a primary health care model.
  • A Multi-disciplinary, collaborative team based approach.
  • A skilled and culturally competent workforce.
  • Continuity of care.
  • Comprehensive and holistic assessments which ensure appropriate referrals if required.
  • Flexible service delivery.
  • A regional model which ensures collaboration and integration of services.

FASD

Research undertaken by PAMS in 2017 demonstrated that a significant amount of young people had suffered from Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE), were developmentally delayed and possibly suffered from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. (FASD) is a diagnostic term for severe neurodevelopmental impairments that result from brain damage caused by alcohol exposure before birth. People with FASD have severe impairments that are permanent and impact negatively on their development. FASD can affect the ability to think, learn, focus attention, control behaviour and emotions. Children with FASD may also be impulsive and often have low self-esteem and mental health problems, these lead to problems at school and socially unacceptable behaviour. PAMS have obtained some funding through Rural Health West to complete assessment and diagnosis of children identified as being at risk of FASD. To date the focus of the program is on assessment and diagnosis to determine the size of the problem. Twenty-five (25) children have been assessed eighteen (18) have FASD, five (5) have severe neurodevelopmental impairments only two have no impairment but, one of these requires Ed support and one requires trauma counselling. Of twenty-five children 72% have FASD, 20% have severe neurodevelopmental Impairments, 8% have no neurodevelopmental impairment but both require Ed support and one of them requires trauma counselling, 100% of the children have specific needs which, must be addressed if they are to function at any reasonable level in the future. Five children have microcephaly and four have an intellectual disability as well as FASD. A funding application has been made to assist PAMS provide these children with the required interventions and lessen the impact of their disability. Assessment, diagnosis and provision of appropriate interventions are the programs focus at present, planning is being undertaken for community consultation, and implementation of community driven prevention and promotion programs to address the issues of PAE and FASD.

Dialysis

Community Supported Dialysis

  • Through the support of the State Government through Fresenius, PAMS is have opened 2 self-dialysing chairs in Jigalong.
  • One client is already dialysing from there.
  • One more Martu Elder is to undergo the training on self-dialysing
  • PAMS will be putting 4 self –dialysing chairs at Parnngurr new clinic this year
  • Another 4 chairs at Punmu new clinic earmarked for this year.
  • Newman hub will have at least 6 chairs once open.

Visiting Specialists

PAMS hosts a range of visiting medical specialists at each of its four communities. These include:

  • Paediatrician
  • Ear and Hearing Health Specialists – Audiologists and ENT (Ear Science Institute of Australia and Australian Hearing)
  • Optometrist (Outback Vision)
  • Renal Physician

Clients are supported through the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme to attend other specialist clinic reviews outside of the Martu homelands at Newman, Pt Hedland or Perth.

Women’s Business GP

PAMS facilitates regular visits from a Women’s Health General Practitioner who travels to each of our four sites providing specialist women’s health care, including antenatal care to the women of our communities.

Allied Health

PAM’s communities are visited on a regular basis by a number of allied health providers including physio, podiatrist and diabetes educator. Other allied health services such as speech therapist and occupational therapist also make regular visits to the Martu homelands. These service providers see clients from across the life span.

Clinical Governance