Gunyangara Health Centre

Clinic at Gunyangara

Gunyangara community

The Child and Maternal Health mobile team operates out of Gunyangara health centre, covering Gunyangara, Galupa and Birritjimi communities (and also Yirrkala if needed). The team provides an intensive service, particularly to children under 6 years), and has achieved excellent results in such areas as immunization and childhood anemia. The team includes doctors and nurses, but the most important ingredient in its success is its community workers who facilitate client contact.

Gunyangara (also known as Marngarr or Ski Beach) is a Yolngu community of about 200 people situated on Drimmie Peninsula, adjacent to Melville Bay, 13km west of Nhulunbuy. It is on Gumatj clan land, with the majority of residents being Gumatj people (family names Yunupingu, Burarrwanga and Munungirritj). The clinic provides a walk-in acute care service, and operates a recall program for longer-term health problems. Where necessary, the clinic provides an outreach service to people’s houses in Gunyangara, and to the Gumatj homeland centre of Dhaniya, depending on population movements. The health centre prides itself on being responsive to the needs of the community, and in turn the community is demonstrably proud of the health centre and its work. This is an AGPAL-accredited clinic.

Nhulunbuy clinic

The Chronic Health Conditions mobile team operates out of the Nhulunbuy clinic, covering Birritjimi and Nhulunbuy. The team provides an intensive service for people with risk factors for chronic health conditions, ensuring their illness is managed and medications are provided in a timely way. The team also provides education on factors underlying ill-health, suchas nutrition and exercise. Often the team is accompanied by allied health specialists such as exercise physiologists and dieticians.

Nhulunbuy ClinicSituated adjacent to the main office of Miwatj, the Nhulunbuy clinic provides a walk-in acute care service and operates a recall program for longer-term health problems. The client base is diverse, including both residents of Nhulunbuy as well as complex cases from nearby communities. Facilities include a number of rooms for specialist visits. This is an AGPAL-accredited clinic, and a teaching practice for medical students of the Northern Territory Clinical School.

Yirrkala health centre

Yirrkala is a medium-sized Yolngu community of around 850 people, situated about 25 km from Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula. Originally established as a mission, it is situated on predominantly Rirratjingu clan land (family name Marika) though its residents identify with a number of clans and there is frequent movement of people between Yirrkala and surrounding homeland centres (these homeland centres receive a visiting health service from the Laynhapuy Homelands Association). Miwatj took over management of Yirrkala health centre in July 2012, and is gradually upgrading the services provided through increased staff numbers and implementation of a systems approach to primary healthcare including a greater emphasis on outreach services. The main barrier at present is the inadequate building, inherited from the NT Department of Health, but the staff are dedicated and professional in their approach. A renal dialysis room is attached to Yirrkala clinic. Yirrkala clinic is working towards AGPAL accreditation.

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