NACCHO Aboriginal Cape York health News: Apunipima Maternal Child Health and Red Cross Closing the Gap

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NEW MODEL OF HEALTH CARE FOR REMOTE QUEENSLAND RESIDENTS

“With people in rural and remote communities suffering from poorer health, reduced life expectancy and higher levels of disease and illness, this will fill a real need for people who are unable to access the quality and range of medical services people in the city take for granted, “The model is designed to help close the health gap suffered by people from remote and Indigenous communities

Red Cross President Michael Legge

PICTURE :Guest from a Gulf community at the Centre , along with two Red Cross staff. From left: Brian Healey, John Pootchemunka and Michael White.

Red Cross recently opened a unique centre in Cairns which offers a new holistic model of health care for people from some of the most remote parts of the state who are receiving medical treatment in the far north Queensland city.

The Red Cross Wellbeing Centre – Pat Gosper Place, was officially launched today by Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, as Queensland Patron of Red Cross in its centenary year.

Red Cross President Michael Legge said the $7 million centre offers quality, affordable accommodation in an inclusive, healing and culturally appropriate environment. The centre with 44 ensuited double rooms provides accommodation for 88 people at no cost if they are eligible for the Queensland Government Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.

“The centre is designed to capture a sense of openness, welcome and homeliness, mirroring health and recovery.  It provides a range of holistic services on site and through referral, in partnership with local organisations.

“Most of the guests will be from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In recognition of this Red Cross commissioned art work from local Aboriginal artist Arone Meeks to incorporate into various parts of the building. The art symbolises flora and fauna across the seasons in the far north.”

Construction of Pat Gosper Place has been funded by Queensland Health ($5 million) and the Australian Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund ($1.9 million) and Red Cross will manage the on going operation of the centre.

Pat Gosper, OAM, is an extraordinary local Red Cross supporter. She first joined in 1945, was instrumental in setting up the local Blood Service, disaster services, the Red Cross shop and the previous Accommodation Centre on the site, driving a wealth of community fundraising for nearly 70 years.

Pat Gosper Place occupies a site on Lake Street where Red Cross has provided medical accomodation for over 50 years. It is in the booming medical quarter of Cairns adjacent to the new Cairns Hospital and new oncology centre. It is the first of six Red Cross accommodation centres transitioning to wellbeing centres around the state and today’s opening is a flagship project in Red Cross’ centenary year.

Media contact: Susan Cullinan, Red Cross media 0448 326 335 and scullinan@redcross.org.au

AND SOME MORE GOOD NEWS FROM APUNIPIMA Maternal and Child Health

Apunipima's midwives will be able to support expectant mums in more ways

“This qualification will enable us to provide a more complete service to the women of Cape York. Currently only General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners can conduct blood tests, provide referrals and prescribe medicines

We are excited and honoured to have won the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship,”

Apunipima Maternal and Child Health Team Program Manager  Rachel Sargeant

Five midwives have been given an opportunity to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Screening, Diagnostics, Pharmacology and Prescribing for Midwives from Griffith University, thanks to an $18,750 scholarship from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, administered by the Australian College of Nursing.

Midwives who successfully complete their Certificate as well as a Midwifery Peer Review process become eligible to obtain Medicare provider numbers, prescribe limited, appropriate medicine, organise referrals and order obstetric ultrasounds for their clients.

“We are excited and honoured to have won the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship,” Apunipima Maternal and Child Health Team Program Manager  Rachel Sargeant said.

“This qualification will enable us to provide a more complete service to the women of Cape York. Currently only General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners can conduct blood tests, provide referrals and prescribe medicines. Eligible midwives can also offer these services, meaning remote pregnant women can get referrals and prescriptions regardless of whether a GP/NP is available in their community. It also contributes to continuity of care for women as they can get more services from their midwife than before.

“Apunipima is committed to the professional development of its staff as it means better care for our clients. Five of our midwives will be undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate thanks to this scholarship and we are excited about increasing our skills, enhancing our service and providing greater continuity of care to our clients.”

The midwives will undertake their postgraduate study this year during Semester 1.

The Australian College of Nursing, Australia’s professional organisation for all nurses, is proud to work with the Department of Health as the fund administrator for this scholarship program.

For more information on the Australian Government Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme visit

Media enquiries

Juliana Doupe Direct Ph: 07 4037 7256

Email: juliana.doupe@apunipima.org.au

Website: http://www.apunipima.org.au

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