Meeting of the IOT Health Service Community Advisory Committee

Number: A15/2022

Date: 4 October 2022

The Indian Ocean Territories Health Service (IOTHS) Community Advisory Committee met again in July 2022.

I was pleased to see the continued engagement by your community representatives, as it is essential that we are designing and delivering fit-for-purpose health services led by community needs and priorities.

We discussed the COVID-19 vaccination program and how the very high vaccination rate in the IOT has contributed to reducing the severity of symptoms in positive cases. While some anti-virals and asthma preventatives have been prescribed, we are very fortunate to not be experiencing cases with severe reactions or fatal outcomes to date. We reiterated our thanks to the IOTHS for implementing this successful vaccination program.

We discussed the 000 outage and the actions taken to minimise the risk of an outage occurring again, along with strategies to reduce the time to fix an issue should one develop.

The IOTHS Clinical Governance Operational Plan 2021 – 2022 was tabled and community representatives were asked for feedback and suggestions for inclusion in the 2022 – 2023 plan. Areas such as men’s and women’s health were suggested, as well as a focus on mental health, diabetes, obesity and dental services.

Other feedback was sought from the community representatives and various topics were raised, including costs for prescription medication in the IOT as well as channels to seek assistance for victims of abuse.

The Patient Assisted Transport Scheme (PATS) policy was raised for a number of reasons, and we revisited the planning for the PATS policy workshop that will occur in the coming months. Your community representatives will soon be collecting feedback to present to the IOTHS to ensure the best-fit policy is in place and well-communicated to the IOT residents.

I encourage all interested community members to engage with their local CAC representatives, who are:

Christmas Island

  • Paul Maberly
  • Vicky Watson
  • Rafi Borchart 

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

  • Levi Fowler
  • Kelly Edwards
  • Isa Minkom
  • Azia Bulka

If you are interested in becoming a representative for your community on the IOTHS CAC, please contact my office on: or 08 9164 7959.

The health services on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are delivered by the Indian Ocean Territories Health Service (IOTHS) through the Australian Government and include inpatient and emergency care, home and community health care, pathology and radiology services, oral health care, visiting specialist medical and allied health services and telehealth.

Natasha Griggs
Indian Ocean Territories Health Service Community Advisory Committee