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Orthopaedic Surgeon Associate Professor Brett Courtenay OAM, together with Physiotherapist Stephen Bradley, continues to carry out our commitment to serving vulnerable people and the tradition of our Founders, the Sisters of Charity at the Orthopaedic Clinic in Redfern.
In partnership with the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service, the Clinic provides pro bono specialist medical consultations and physiotherapy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
“We all know that the health and life expectancy gap between that of Australia’s First Peoples and non-Indigenous population is the largest in the world, and I felt that doing clinics would hopefully assist in this area as well as giving me first-hand experience of what some of the reasons behind this might be,” says A/Prof Courtenay.
For over six years, A/Prof Courtenay has seen up to eight patients a day during his fortnightly rounds, where he consults on orthopaedic conditions before referring to other leading services for ongoing management. “The Clinic provides an environment that Indigenous patients feel comfortable in – that is fundamental in providing the best diagnosis and treatment options”.
A/Prof Courtenay has learnt that “the one thing that treating doctors need to be aware of, is that many of our Indigenous Australians do not have the same acceptance of often the rigid institutional way that we go about our daily living. Clinics to the outsiders may appear disorganised and patients more often than not do not attend on the day originally allocated. It can be frustrating but they will come when they need".
For more information on the service, contact Redfern AMS on 9319 5823 or visit www.amsredfern.org.au.