Patients help plan action on chronic diseases

25 November 2011

Territorians who themselves have a chronic illness are helping health professionals to create a ten-year plan to tackle chronic disease in the Northern Territory.

A working group comprising the Department of Health (DoH), Aboriginal Community-controlled health services and NGOs is running a series of consumer stakeholder forums to help develop the Chronic Conditions Self Management Framework.

"We invite anyone who has a chronic disease, their family members and carers to share their views on chronic disease prevention and self management," DoH Chronic Conditions Strategy Unit's Ms Liz Kasteel said.

According to Ms Kasteel, the framework will enable people with chronic diseases to have more control over their healthcare and the impacts of their illnesses.

"We want people to be active participants in their own healthcare, as well as working effectively with providers to get the best possible care," she said.

"Rates of chronic disease are increasing rapidly nationwide and are higher in the Aboriginal population. With 40-56 per cent of public hospital resources in the NT spent treating chronic illness, it is essential we prioritise the prevention and management of chronic conditions."

The self management consumer forums are taking place across the Top End in Darwin, Milikapiti and Pirlangimpi, and in Central Australia at Alice Springs and Wilora.

The Chronic Conditions Self Management Framework, due for release in early 2012, is part of the larger NT Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010- 2020.

The strategy provides a consistent approach for the next decade for the whole Northern Territory health sector, focussing on seven  preventable chronic conditions:

 - Cardiovascular disease
 - Rheumatic Heart Disease
 - Type 2 diabetes
 - Chronic Airways Disease
 - Chronic Kidney Disease
 - Chronic Mental Illness
 - Cancers

"The Chronic Conditions Prevention and Management Strategy 2010-2020, is the framework for reducing the incidence and impact of chronic conditions in the NT," Ms Kasteel said.

Stakeholder forums will take place in:
Darwin - 17 November 2011
Milikapiti - 8 December 2011
Pirlangimpi - 9 December 2011
Wilora - 12 December 2011
Alice Springs - 13-14 December 2011

Media Contact: Bridget Wild  89 992 818 or 0401 116 203