Improving Aboriginal Children’s Ear Health


The Department of Health, WA Country Health Service and Child and Adolescent Health Service should work together to:

  1. actively work with stakeholders to progress the priorities of the WA Child Ear Health Strategy by:
    1. agreeing and assigning accountability
    2. regular public reporting on progress and results of the relevant areas of responsibility in the Strategy
    3. formally agreeing data sharing arrangements

DOH response: Accepted

WACHS response: WACHS supports working with key stakeholders to progress the implementation of the Strategy to ensure a collaborative and consistent approach to tackling ear disease in WA.

CAHS response: CAHS agrees that greater clarification around areas of responsibility and accountability will assist in progressing the Strategy, and is committed to working actively with all stakeholders, but it has no mechanism (such as authority or funding) to direct other organisations.

Implementation timeframe: July 2021

The WA Country Health Service and Child and Adolescent Health Service should work together to:

  1. design and implement a process for developing co-designed services for implementing the WA Child Ear Health Strategy

WACHS response: WACHS supports this recommendation.

CAHS response: For CAHS, this recommendation aligns with other work planned in reviewing aspects of service delivery to Aboriginal families and will be integrated into this broader body of work.

Implementation timeframe: July 2020

  1. leverage existing contact with Aboriginal families to increase early detection of OM through opportunistic ear checks. This should include offering all Aboriginal children physical ear checks through the Universal Child Health Checks or equivalent.

WACHS response: WACHS is currently implementing the Enhanced Child Health Schedule (ECHS), which will see all vulnerable children (including Aboriginal children) offered additional child health checks, over and above the universal child health checks, which will include provision of ear health checks.

CAHS response: This recommendation is supported. For CAHS, this will require:

    • policy review (in progress);
    • development of a sustainable education program to upskill staff; and
    • additional equipment to increase capacity across the Aboriginal Health team and universal child and health services’ nursing workforce (in progress).

Implementation timeframe: December 2019

Page last updated: June 12, 2019

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