To the Editor: Improving access to appropriate, good-quality care in the antenatal and postnatal period is a key part of closing the acknowledged gap between Indigenous and other Australians in perinatal outcomes.1 Previous research in a large Aboriginal medical service in Queensland demonstrated sustained improvements in perinatal outcomes associated with a quality improvement approach.2 Here we describe patterns of the delivery of maternity care and service gaps on a broad scale, using data from baseline clinical audits in 34 Indigenous primary health centres participating in a national quality improvement intervention.3
- 1. Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Healthy for Life program framework. 2008. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/h4l/publishing.nsf/Content/framework (accessed Sep 2008).
- 2. Panaretto KS, Mitchell MR, Anderson L, et al. Sustainable antenatal care services in an urban Indigenous community: the Townsville experience. Med J Aust 2007; 187: 18-22. <MJA full text>
- 3. Bailie RS, Si D, O’Donoghue L, Dowden M. Indigenous health: effective and sustainable health services through continuous quality improvement. Med J Aust 2007; 186: 525-527. <MJA full text>
- 4. Bailie RS, Togni SJ, Si D, et al. Preventive medical care in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory: a follow-up study of the impact of clinical guidelines, computerised recall and reminder systems, and audit and feedback. BMC Health Serv Res 2003; 3: 15.
- 5. Minymaku kutju tjukurpa: women’s business manual. 4th ed. Alice Springs: Congress Alukura and Nganampa Health Council, 2008.
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