Tonic Health Media launches Indigenous health channel, Aboriginal Health Television

A TV network focused on Indigenous health, Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV), has officially launched.

The not-for-profit network, announced last year, has been developed by Tonic Health Media and comes after the federal government committed $3.4m to support it.

The launch of Aboriginal Health TV (l-r): associate professor Chris Lawrence; Tonic Health’s Dr Norman Swan; South West Aboriginal Medical Service CEO, Lesley Nelson; Aboriginal Health TV community relationships manager, Jake Thomson; Federal Member for Forrest, the Hon. Nola Marino MP; Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon. Ken Wyatt

Dr Norman Swan, co-founder of Tonic Health Media, said: “The fundamental idea behind AHTV is to provide engaging, appropriate and evidence informed health content to Aboriginal people while they are waiting to see their health professional.

“We have evidence that this period in the waiting area is a time when people are most open to information which can improve their health and offer relevant questions to ask their health professional when they see them in the next few minutes.”

The network will broadcast into GP waiting rooms and other health facilities and is expected to reach a First Nations audience of over 1.2 million people a month.

“Our aim is to offer AHTV as a free, fully maintained service to all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) across Australia – around 300 locations,” Swan continued. “It is already being rolled out, with SWAMS as one of our first. We know that our targeted messaging can make a big difference. There’s nothing like knowledge to give people control over their decisions.

Aboriginal Health TV Advisory Group member, associate professor Chris Lawrence, said Australia has always been a world leader in health promotion. “AHTV signals a new era in how health promotion messages are told and delivered to one of the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations,” he said.

“AHTV builds on this using digital technology to help close the gap, and improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.”

Jake Thomson, community relationships manager for AHTV, added: “AHTV not only offers culturally relevant content, but it gives a voice to every community. By having the information they need, it will enable our people to consciously make the right choices, which in turn will lead to better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”


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