NACCHO 2013 budget press release:Lack of detail leaves a question mark over Aboriginal health

18

 The $777 million commitment to Close the Gap initiatives in the 2013 Federal Budget is welcome however the Aboriginal health Community Controlled sector remains concerned about the lack of detail on how and where the money will be spent.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Justin Mohamed, said it was critical that adequate funding was dedicated to support and grow Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services where the biggest gains were being made in improving Aboriginal health.

Download the Aboriginal Health Budget here also see executive summary below

Download Federal Government Press release on Aboriginal spending here

“The lack of clarity in the Budget around how funding will flow to Aboriginal primary Community Controlled Health services is very concerning,” Mr Mohamed said.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services need to be at the forefront of any comprehensive primary health care model.

“It is these services – run by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people – that are making the biggest improvements to the health of their communities.

“The Federal Government also needs to put greater effort into getting the states and territories to re-commit to the National Partnership Agreement – due to expire in just over a month.

“It is simply not OK to leave the fate of Aboriginal health hanging while everyone plays politics up to the 11th hour.”

Mr Mohamed said NACCHO was disappointed that the Budget did not spell out how the upcoming National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan would be funded.

“The Health Plan will not work unless it is properly resourced and after yesterday we are no clearer on how much of the $777 million will be directed to this critical initiative.

“It is also disappointing to again see the focus on Medicare Locals in the Budget. Medicare Locals are yet to prove their effectiveness in the Aboriginal health space where the community controlled model has made positive health gains.

“If we’re serious about closing the appalling gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, then Aboriginal health needs to be given the attention it deserves and community controlled services better supported.”

Mr Mohamed said NACCHO would be consulting widely with the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector and providing further comment upon further analysis of the budget papers in the coming days.

Media contact: Colin Cowell 0401 331 251,

ABORIGINAL HEALTH BUDGET EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Through Outcome 8, the Australian Government aims to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to effective health care services essential to improving health and life expectancy, and reducing child mortality.

The Australian Government, through the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, is committed to ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians in health, education and employment. This requires a concerted and coordinated effort from all Government agencies and two of the targets in the agreement relate directly to the Health and Ageing Portfolio: to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation; and to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five years of age within a decade.

In 2013-14, the Government will work with states and territories through a renewed National Partnership Agreement (NPA) to consolidate and embed the reforms implemented under the current NPA on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes, including continuing implementation of the Indigenous Chronic Disease Package. This commitment will provide a continued framework for working collaboratively to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation.

The Australian Government is also developing a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, which will build on the gains already being achieved through the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap initiatives. The Health Plan is being developed as a collaborative effort and after extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives and is being informed by advice from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council. It will involve building links with current initiatives and strategies, identifying gaps for further action and expanding existing initiatives where appropriate.

The Australian Government recognises that closing the gap in life expectancy in the Northern Territory continues to present a significant challenge. The Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory – health initiative focusses on this challenge by providing ongoing funding to deliver a comprehensive health package for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Northern Territory.

The Department is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, as well as in collaboration with state and territory government agencies to implement these programs.

The Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health leads the work for Outcome 8 by funding the delivery of primary health care services and other

Download the Aboriginal Health Budget here also see executive summary below

Download Federal Government Press release on Aboriginal spending here

2 comments on “NACCHO 2013 budget press release:Lack of detail leaves a question mark over Aboriginal health

  1. Pingback: NACCHO press release:West Australia confirms funding to Close the Gap | NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts

  2. Pingback: NACCHO political alert:Minister funding risk warning, only 6 days to Close the Gap | NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts

NACCHO welcomes feedback/comment:Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s