NACCHO report from the World Health Care Networks Conference, Cairns

World Health Care Networks Conference,

Cairns 26th to 28th July 2012

From James Lamerton, NACCHO Senior Policy Advisor – Health Reform

It is surprising and disappointing that, at an international conference held here in Australia and focussing on comprehensive primary health care, the role of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector was not acknowledged or, in fact, mentioned.

NACCHO Note: “Cultural village “image used to promote conference (see link below)

Australian Medicare Local Alliance chair, Dr Arn Sprogis, explained that that the lack of acknowledgement was not an oversight but was due to the fact that the ACCHS sector’s philosophy of service design and delivery had already been “mainstreamed”, presumably arguing that mainstream service providers, such as Medicare Locals, have already adopted the ACCHS methodology.

However, Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) chair, Dr Emil Djakic, in a simple, eloquent and moving statement which drew sustained applause from conference-goers, distanced AGPN and the organisers of the conference from this view.

He apologised for the glaring oversight and gave an undertaking that future conferences would place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at their centre.

The AML Alliance will host another primary health care conference in Adelaide in November 2012: we wait with interest to see how Aboriginal health and the ACCHS sector fares there. 

BACKGROUND

About the WHCN Conference 2012

Connecting Globally, Achieving Locally

Common health system challenges and an international commitment to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are helping to drive solidarity and cohesion within the global health community – particularly under the auspice of a renewed comprehensive primary health care agenda. World Health Care Networks (WHCN) was created to foster and promote this solidarity and synergism between national and international stakeholders by facilitating and promoting linkages and partnerships.

In achieving this, the WHCN 2012 Conference will act as a platform for you to meet, connect and build prosperous relationships with global health and social care leaders who share a common interest in improving health outcomes for the world’s population, rich and poor.

Specifically, WHCN 2012 will:

  • Connect the leaders who practice in multi-lateral approaches to health service delivery;
  • Share in the knowledge that makes a difference to multi-lateral health service delivery;
  • Promote understanding and the value of networks in enhancing multi-lateral health service deliver.

WHCN is for those who want to engage in a meaningful exchange of ideas and developments in the primary health care sector and to improve the networking capacity of the sector for the benefit of improving health systems both locally and globally.

Clinically-led and organised general practice and primary health care systems are expanding and progressing significantly and effectively re-modelling health services to improve health and system outcomes. In recognising this fundamental shift in health service delivery, the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) formed WHCN as the international platform for health and social service leaders to share their knowledge, expertise and experiences and in turn develop the international networks that can make a difference to health outcomes.