Board Communiqué - September 2017

The Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN) Board met in Alice Springs on 28 August 2017. Directors also met with representatives of the Central Australia Aboriginal Congress and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute on 29 August to further discuss local health priorities, and NT PHN’s role in supporting these priorities.

Key discussion points:

  • There are many opportunities for NT PHN to increase engagement with and work alongside Aboriginal community controlled organisations as we implement NT PHN’s Commissioning Policy and Procedure, support implementation of national health reform activities. The Board also recommended NT PHN develop strategies to increase recruitment of Aboriginal people across the organisation. Through implementation of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), NT PHN will continue to embrace Aboriginal health knowledge in service delivery arrangements. The implementation of our RAP will also guide policy development across NT PHN, including procurement and data governance policies.
  • The Board welcomed the recent announcement by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory, the Honourable Nigel Scullion, of new funding for headspace services in Katherine in July 2017. The Board looks forward to the organisation engaging with health service providers and the wider Katherine community to support establish this service to ensure that the headspace service delivered for Katherine is as effective, accessible and appropriate to local needs
  • The Board noted that the Commonwealth was finalising new Bilateral Agreements on health with the States and Territories and looks forward to final signoff of the NT agreement in the near future. This agreement will be important in guiding our working relationship with the NT Department. Details will be publically available when the agreement is signed.
  • The Board were pleased to note the increasing engagement of the organisation with providers and community across the NT, including regional events and the upcoming Compass Teaching and Learning Conference, to be hosted in conjunction with Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE).
  • The Board noted the central role of PHNs across the country in health systems reform. We are confident that NT PHN has established an organisational structure and skilled leadership team that will support the evolving role of the NT PHN in health systems improvement.

The next Board meeting is planned for 21 November 2017 in Darwin, following the organisation’s Annual General Meeting.

Dr Andrew Bell, Chair