WA Tuberculosis Control Program

The Western Australian Tuberculosis Control Program (external site) (WATBCP) provides a statewide outpatient public health service. The program accommodates the needs of adult and paediatric clients and promotes family-based care. Although the target clientele for the program is the entire community, emphasis is invariably on the following high-risk groups:

  • People from high tuberculosis (TB) prevalence countries (especially migrants on health undertakings or of refugee status, residency applications, illegal entrants)
  • People who have had contact with infectious TB
  • Socially disadvantaged groups
  • Those with medical conditions known to predispose to TB
  • Special occupational groups (e.g. health care workers).

The program offers a comprehensive service; a medical assessment, pathology collection and radiology (chest X-ray) are usually performed within the centre. All clients suspected of having TB or on TB treatment are assigned a nursing case manager who provides support on an individual basis, ensuring effective care delivery through the implementation and evaluation of the case management plan.


Celebrating the WA TB Control Program’s 75th anniversary


Celebrating the WA TB Control Program’s 75th anniversary transcript

When I was first diagnosed with TB I was a bit scared because I didn't know much about it. I was still in school in year 11. We're not feeling too good about it, people might know and then they might get scared. Anita Clayton helped clear the misunderstanding in school meetings.

People have this idea that tuberculosis is a disease of the past. It's still a major illness in every country in the world. While it's a serious disease and if it's not treated can be very serious. It is entirely treatable, and we have a specialized clinic that can deliver that treatment free of charge and we have a 99% cure rate, so we get people better.

So, an average week in the Anita Clinton Centre is very busy. We have clinics, they run Monday to Friday. We have a pharmacy in the clinic. We do home visits, so as case managers, we get to visit our patients in the house. We also do vaccinations for children at risk of tuberculosis, and we do blood tests, and the contact tracing, and general support for our index cases. That all happens here in the clinic. As a TB case manager, it's unique in the fact that I can see that patient every month which could be from six months to, some of them could be for two years. I can see them progress and I can take them through the whole journey. So, contact tracing is quite a big part of my job. It's the identification of those people that might have been exposed to the index case. Once we've identified those people that have been exposed, we can offer screening and then depending on the results of that screening we can offer preventative treatment.

The support provided to Gaki and during my TB too, it was absolutely, personally fabulous. I mean everyone was so caring, from Anita Clinton, from the Department of Health and from all the people involved there.

Our future in WA is to maintain our program which take the best possible care of people who do get TB. To have the very best screening processes for people who are coming to Australia or are at risk of TB who already live here. And then work together at a national level and an international level in the global effort to reduce TB because in the end it has to be the whole world that does it not just WA.

Last Updated: 20/09/2023