The fundamental goal in the long-term management of RHD is to prevent ARF recurrences, and therefore, prevent the progression of RHD, and in many cases allow for the resolution of heart disease.
It is difficult and expensive for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders to travel to major centres for cardiac services, which are often hospital based. Although specialist outreach services are improving in many regions, access to specialist care is suboptimal in rural and remote areas.
The implementation of guidelines for rheumatic heart disease has major implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare services, especially in rural and remote regions. In addition to access to appropriate primary care services, best practice for rheumatic heart disease requires: