NACCHO Q and A on ABCTV alert:Aboriginal community controlled health gets “last minute’ discussion in televised national health policy debate

Selwyn Button2

On the night the Aboriginal community controlled health movement was represented by Selwyn Button CEO QAIHC and supported by Dr Ngiare Brown (picture above)

Health policy was up for debate this week thanks to ABC TV’s Q and A program, featuring Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and the Opposition’s health spokesman Peter Dutton.

For a summary of the debate issues check out CROAKEY

NACCHO and the the Close the Gap Campaign presented the following question signed by Justin Mohamed – Chair of NACCHO, Canberra

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples die 10-17 years younger than non-Indigenous Australians. In 2008 federal, state and territory governments all committed to close the life expectancy gap by 2030. This is a long term target and we are just starting to see results.

How will each party ensure continued bipartisanship on this critical issue, including continuing to invest in closing the gap in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services, programs and policies.

NACCHO TV: Watch Selwyn Button “last minute’ discussion about Aboriginal community controlled health in national health policy debate 

Copyright ABC TV

(you will need to increase volume!)

Besides the actual broadcast NACCHO and the CTG campaign group ran an intensive social media campaign resulting in

INCREASE to 187,808 in CLOSE THE GAP pledges

 As a result of lots of Tweeting many people signed  the Close the Gap Pledge  (187,808 have signed it).Close the Gap Campaign’s twitter account jumped to now over 560 after last night.

 And we’ve now had over 1100 people sign the letter to the Premiers https://www.oxfam.org.au/my/act/ask-your-state-premier-to-support-close-the-gap/

Background to Selwyn Button, CEO, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council

Self-determination and self-responsibility – in recent weeks much has been spoken about the notion of practical reconciliation from the opposition, whilst there is still some talk of self-determination being critically important to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Conceptually both these discussions a sound in there logic and proposed approach, although still do not go to the heart of real self-determination of ensuring that not only are Indigenous people provided with access to required services, resources and involvement in decision-making about how this happens, but going a step further to give overall autonomy and responsibility for policy, planning, program development, delivery and outcomes to Indigenous people.

This can and should happen particularly in places where there is demonstrated capacity and willingness to take on this challenge and risk associated, although governments are risk averse in nature and generally shy away from this next step.

If Indigenous communities and organisations can demonstrate willingness, understanding, organisational maturity and capacity, perhaps we should take the risk together in order to support improved outcomes.

This work is not ground breaking as it has already happened in Canada and NZ with significant results and could provide a template for greater autonomy in delivering services to Indigenous people by Indigenous organisations in or own country.

Working alongside this notion is also the importance of Indigenous communities and organisations willing to accept the challenge and demonstrate capacity and leadership in this space for governments to want to take risks. This also would mean that not only are Indigenous communities and organisations willing to accept the challenge, we must also be willing to accept and embrace our failures if it doesn’t work.