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Health & Community Services

Laynha provides primary health care services to its homelands members through the Laynhapuy Health unit, funded through the Commonwealth Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH). This is complemented by community services including Money Management and Youth Programs, which are funded through the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Six of the homelands have purpose built health clinics, with each clinic managed by a Yolngu community health worker living in the homeland. Smaller clinics (or health rooms) in three further homelands provide essential health services. A further purpose built clinic is due to be completed shortly. 

The key areas of focus provided through Laynha’s health programs are:
  • Healthy for Life programs
  • Chronic disease
  • Maternal and child health
  • Women’s health 
  • Men’s health 
  • Oral Health
  • Mental health and health promotion. 

Since 2005, Laynha Health has increased its health services substantially with an increase in staff from two nurses and one administration position, to its present staff of 20. This includes one general practitioner, two registered nurses, a nurse manager, midwife, three Aboriginal health workers, seven community health workers, a dental therapist and dental nurse, a mental health worker, two administration workers and a visiting dentist, when available.

Laynha Health statistics demonstrate the accessibility of the service it provides to its members, with at least one episode of care being provided to 717 Yolngu members in the six months to May 2009. Without this health care service, these 717 people may have required transport, medical attention, and either accommodation or hospitalisation in a major community, or would not have received any medical attention.

Money Management programs include educations make money last until payday, savings and superannuation, how banks can help, credit hazards, and money loan traps, and assist with internet banking and accessing Centrelink services via online kiosks in the homelands. The Money Management team also works with nutritionists to visit homelands for nutrition education, physical activity programs and cooking demonstrations with community input.

Youth Programs deliver a range of targeted diversion activities and case management for young people living on the homelands. The focus is on supporting educational outcomes; health and wellbeing; strong relationships with leaders and elders; participation in cultural activities; and building youth leadership and mentoring skills. The Youth team also provide employment and training opportunities for Indigenous Youth Worker Trainees.

Laynha is also offering a much needed oral health program that is not under the auspices of the Northern Territory Government, which is a regional first. The program has a strong focus on prevention and oral health education, and the dental team works closely with the primary health care team with an aim to positively impact the overall health of homelands residents. The range of services offered by the oral health program are extensive and because of this, Laynha is in a position to work with homelands residents on long term dental health goals, something not seen in many remote locations.

Laynha provides ongoing training and education courses to health workers and other homelands residents, through contracted organisations such as Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS), and the Centre for Remote Area Nursing Association (CRANA). ARDS in partnership with Laynha’s health workers, is developing a Health Worker Training DVD in Yolngu Matha (Yolngu language). This training DVD will provide information to the health workers on disease and the disease process, and will assess their understanding through feedback from the health workers. ARDS also provides wider community education and individual counselling concerning disease. CRANA runs an annual Remote Emergency Course and a Maternal Emergency Course to ensure health workers are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with emergency health situations in the homelands.

On the job training is provided for the health workers with every visit to their community by Laynha Health staff. Laynha is also developing health and community service information resources for tablets and mobile devices, to accompany homelands visits.
Laynhapuy Health & Community Services

Office hours: 
Mon–Fri – 08:00-16:30
Location: 86 Galpu Rd Yirrkala
Address: PO Box 2020 Nhulunbuy NT 0881
Phone: 08 8939 1860
Free call: 1800 133 244