Better Together Medication Access Program delivers enhanced access to discharge medications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers and pharmacy staff supporting BTMA at Redcliffe Hospital
Metro North Health are leading the way with a first of a kind program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with ease of access to discharge medication at no cost to the patient.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients at Metro North Health continue to ‘opt in’ to the Better Together Medication Access (BTMA) program designed to provide discharge medication at no out of pocket expense to the patient and assist their healing journey back home.
BTMA, launched in October 2020, is a co-payment subsidy program to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with access to discharge medication from the hospital pharmacy.
Patients that identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin upon admission to a Metro North hospital are given the choice to opt-in to the BTMA program. If they do so, the discharge medication script is taken to a Metro North Health pharmacy and the medication is supplied with no out of pocket cost to the patient.
The successful program has seen over 15,000 offered BTMA and 12,000 medications supplied.
Metro North Health Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Sherry Holzapfel said the program is a great example of how, through innovation, system enhancements and investment, health services can have a profound impact on improving the long-term health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“We all have a role to play to provide a culturally inclusive health care system that takes into account our health, our way for self, kin, community and country.
“We recognise that still in 2023 our people continue to experience disparities and inequities accessing health services, their experiences with health and wellbeing services, and their overall health outcomes.
“The Better Together Medication Access (BTMA) program is one important way we can do this. It provides our mob a road to recovery by lowering financial and logistical medication access barriers.”
Sherry said a stakeholder information toolkit and a series of educational films have been developed to support the roll-out of the program to other Hospital and Health Services across the State.
“The program has not only led to improved patient outcomes but allowed Metro North Health to improve cultural capability and staff relationships, links to services upon discharge and created future collaboration opportunities. We are hopeful to see this great program expanded to other areas.”
Further information and the educational films can be accessed via the Better Together Health Van website – https://metronorth.health.qld.gov.au/better-together-van/healthcare-services.