Allied Health Service

SOS Health Services Palm Island

EVERY Australian should have access to physiotherapy and related health services when needed, but sadly many people don’t.
SOS Health Foundation is working to Close the Gap in health outcomes for people in remote indigenous communities.

Current challenges on Palm Island

It is widely reported that the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians is among the poorest in the world. Attributed to decades of neglect and inadequate service provision, the Bwgcolman and Manbarra people on Palm Island in North Queensland have not escaped the issues associated with remoteness. Limited availability of allied health services such as physiotherapy and dietetics in particular, was problematic given the high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.General health concerns, post surgery rehabilitation, women’s health issues and sports injuries were also not being adequately addressed within the community.

Inequality in service availability

Although essential health services are available through Queensland Health, inconsistent access to physiotherapy and related allied health services on Palm Island highlights the inequality of service provision when compared to the rest of the Queensland population. Despite being located just 65kms off the coast of Townsville, Palm Island still lacks regular, culturally specific health services, and this is the gap SOS Health Outreach Team volunteers try to fill. Travel to access services on the mainland is inconvenient and costly, so SOS Health Foundation flys volunteer allied health professionals to Palm Island.

SOS Health Services is a Registered NDIS Provider

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to provide all Australians under the age of 65 years, who have a permanent and significant disability, with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life. The NDIS helps them achieve their goals.

This may include greater independence, community involvement, employment and improved well-being. As an insurance scheme the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.

To become an NDIS participant a person must:

  1. Have a permanent impairment
  2. Be aged less than 65
  3. Live in Australia in an NDIS area
  4. Be an Australian citizen

The Referral Process

If you would like to use SOS Health Services on Palm Island you can contact us directly or through your support coordinator or LAC for a referral to our service.

What SOS is doing?

SOS Health Services – Palm Island

We can’t offer a ‘quick fix’ solution, however SOS Health is working together with the Palm Island Community to improve the long term availability, regularity and quality of health services through the provision of physiotherapy and related allied services.

SOS Health employs a full time Physiotherapist/Practice Manager and 2 part time Allied Health Assistants at our Palm Island Clinic.

Address: Park Street, Palm Island, QLD 4816
Phone: 0455 588 079
Email: physio.pi@soshealth.org.au
Open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Health Outreach Program

The capacity to improve the physical health and quality of life for the Palm Island community cannot be underestimated. To supplement SOS Health Services Palm Island, teams of SOS Health volunteer allied health practitioners provide specialist services to meet specific community needs including:

  • Physiotherapy specialty areas including Cardiorespiratory, Continence and Women’s Health, Neurology, Paediatrics, Exercise and Fitness
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Dietetics, Diabetes education
  • Podiatry
  • In future possibly Speech Pathology and Psychology
  • Sports team support through providing injury prevention sessions, strapping clinics, assessing and developing treatment plans for those with new and existing injuries, and helping grow the strong sporting culture on Palm Island.

Why volunteer with SOS Health Foundation

Focus on Allied Health

SOS Health Foundation was formed by physios to provide opportunities for allied health practitioners who want to use their skills and expertise to ensure quality services are available when and wherever needed, even in the most remote communities in Australia.

It’s an experience

We visit some of Australia’s most remote communities and locations, places that most people will never get to see. Volunteers join the Health Outreach Program because they want to ‘give back’ to those less fortunate, and we can make that happen. What most people don’t expect is just how much they gain from the experience.

All organised for you

We make it easy for you to get involved. We plan your itinerary and take care of all the details, including travel, accommodation, cultural orientation, and program facilitation. You are free to focus on what you do best and enjoy the experience of serving the health needs of those who would otherwise go without, right here in your own backyard.

Sustainable impact

We work collaboratively with local organisations to ensure that we are hitting the most in-need areas and having the most effective long term outcomes.

How can you help?

The success of our programs depends on compassionate people who share our vision and desire to
provide quality allied healthcare for indigenous Australians in remote communities.

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Volunteer with us

Sometimes the best thing you can donate is your time. Whether you give a few hours, a week, or more; others will benefit immensely from your contribution.

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Donate to us

With your financial support, we can continue to provide physiotherapy, podiatry, OT and other allied health services with our on the ground partners on Palm Island and in North East Arnhem Land.

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Join a Fundraiser

Join us in raising funds to support health improvements for the indigenous Australians. Create your own community fundraising event or join one of ours.