Press release: 30 March 2012 What will race base research really achieve?A response to Charlatan Training of Aboriginal Health Workers

Mr Justin Mohamed, Chair of the NACCHO’s approx 150 Aboriginal community controlled health services throughout Australia today questioned the motives of research undertaken by the Indigenous Affair program at The Centre for Independent Studies, who in their own words examines “the unintended consequences of having race-based policies and whether the problems faced by Aboriginal Health Workers (AHW) are symptomatic of this separatism.”

 Mr Mohamed was responding to concerns by his member organisations and  Aboriginal Health Workers in these community controlled health services throughout Australia who were universally astonished, angry and embarrassed by a report released last week titled Charlatan Training, How Aboriginal Health Workers Are Being Short Changed by researcher Sara Hudson.

 Mr Mohamed said “As pointed out by a number our Aboriginal Health organisations and researchers this report is full of gross inaccuracies, outdated research, selective editing, and wilful misinterpretation of reality and in general only refers selectively to quotes that will promulgate the racist myth that Aboriginal people are unable to cope in mainstream health positions.

 Aboriginal Health Workers are an important part of clinical services in the over 150 Aboriginal community controlled health  services as well as in mainstream health services”.

 Clinically trained Aboriginal Health Workers perform a range of frontline clinical procedures, according to their qualification level, from internal and external examinations, suturing and specimen collection and they have a direct link with the Aboriginal communities they are part of allowing them access to the most difficult to reach and marginalised of patients”.

 NACCHO continues to directly support the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA) to ensure the interests of Aboriginal Health Workers are properly represented and the profession has the chance to be part of the National Regulation and Accreditation of health professionals.

 We believe that NATSIHWA is the appropriate organisation to work for the interests of its Aboriginal Health Worker members by supporting their careers, professional development, networking, accreditation of the profession and representing their interests at peak regional, state and national forums.”

Mr Mohamed said in summary “the report does not appropriately recognise and acknowledge the significant role, value, expertise and contribution Aboriginal and Health Workers make to their communities.”

 “Whilst we welcome evidence based factual debate we would seriously question the racist motives of this basically flawed report.” Mr Mohamed said.

 NACCHO Media Contact: Colin Cowell   0401 331 251

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