9  August 2021

First Nations children across South East Queensland will have greater access to timely and culturally safe specialist care for hearing and vision issues, under a new partnership between Children’s Health Queensland and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

The Open Doors project, funded by the Department of Health , will deliver up to 18 dedicated ear, nose and throat (ENT) and eye clinics for up to 540 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people at the Queensland Children’s Hospital over the next three years.

The aim is to deliver culturally safe elective surgery pathways for First Nations children, which will improve access to vital specialist ENT treatment services and contribute to better long term health and social outcomes.

Children’s Health Queensland Chief Executive Frank Tracey said the $480,000 Open Doors project was pioneering a co-designed and co-delivered approach to address the burden of poor ear and eye health in children which can have wide-reaching impacts on their long-term health, education and social engagement.

throat exam

“Children’s Health Queensland and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health recognise that optimal care in these areas of high disease burden can only be provided by reducing systemic barriers and delivering a streamlined care pathway that integrates both organisation’s services,” Mr Tracey said.

“These dedicated multidisciplinary weekend clinics support our ongoing commitment to providing the right care, at the right time, in the right way for children, young people and their families.

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health Chief Executive Officer Adrian Carson said: “This is how we work as one health system to coordinate the care for our children and young people so that they get treatment safely and in time to make a difference to their health and their individual life trajectories,” Mr Carson said.

The Open Doors project is the first initiative to be delivered under a 3-year engagement protocol (service agreement) between Children’s Health Queensland and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, committing both organisations to work more collaboratively in the pursuit of health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in South East Queensland.

Read the media release.