Evaluations of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

The Department has engaged independent consultants to undertake two overarching evaluations of the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of primary health care (PHC) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to inform implementation and refinement of the IAHP. These evaluations mark the first in a rolling series of comprehensive evaluations of the IAHP to accelerate progress towards Closing the Gap in health inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rest of the Australian population.

Page last updated: 15 May 2018

Evaluation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PHC

Allen and Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists (Allen and Clarke) have been engaged to co-design an Evaluation of the Australian Government’s investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care with the Indigenous health sector.>/p>

This evaluation is taking a whole of system, client oriented approach and aims to support the health system to improve access to quality and effective primary health care services to be more responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. While the focus of the evaluation will be the IAHP, the scope of the evaluation will necessarily include the IAHP’s relationship with other parts of the health system and draw on the perspectives of stakeholders at different levels of the system, and will also facilitate learning across these levels.

The evaluation is being undertaken in two phases –

  • Phase One – evaluation co-design commenced in late 2017 and is expected to be completed by mid-2018.
  • Phase Two – evaluation implementation will commence from mid to late 2018 and be implemented over a four year period, subject to the Minister’s agreement. Implementation will likely involve a number of phased and concurrent elements to achieve the evaluation aims and also inform the 2023 revision of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The evaluation is being co-designed with:

  • A Health Sector Evaluation Co-design Group which brings together a range of experiences and perspectives from stakeholders and people working across the health system. This group has been established to work collaboratively with the Allen and Clarke evaluation team to help facilitate a robust and high quality evaluation design and implementation of this design. Communiques from recent meetings (December 2017 and April 2018) of this group are available Health Sector Co-design Group web page.
  • Groups of community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who will bring diverse perspectives and experiences from using (and not using) primary health care services.

Key information about the evaluation is available on the Allen and Clarke website at (www.IPHCeval.com).

Economic Evaluation

The Economic Evaluation consists of two phases:

  • Phase One (2017-18) – focused on the return on investment of the IAHP as measured by potentially preventable hospitalisations; and the relative costs of an Indigenous specific compared to a non-Indigenous specific primary health care service. Deakin University has undertaken this phase.
  • Phase Two (2018-19) – will evaluate the cost effectiveness and the return on investment of the IAHP more broadly.