Dr Mark Wenitong , Apunipima Cape York Health Council and NACCHO advisor getting “checked out” by daughter Naomi Wenitong
Has been urging Health action to Close the Gap
Today’s release of the Progress and Priorities Report by the Close the Gap Committee shows the investment in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations is contributing to closing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Chair of Apunipima Cape York Health Council Thomas Hudson said, “We welcome the Close the Gap Report and its recommendations for the continued investment into Aboriginal health services.
“The report shows slow but real progress towards achieving the Close the Gap targets and we are proud that by delivering community controlled primary health care services in Cape York and are contributing to those targets through an increase in GP Management Plans, chronic disease programs, educational and prevention programs, Maternal and Child Health services, Men’s Health services, adult health checks, immunisation rates and episodes of care.
“Evidence shows that better health outcomes and significant health gains can be achieved by Aboriginal communities having control of their own health. While there is still a lot of work to do in order to reach the Close the Gap targets, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) are front and centre in the fight for health equality. Community owned and community driven health services provide culturally appropriate, responsive care underpinned by self – determination and ground – up solutions.
“Apunipima is committed to strengthening culturally appropriate, family centred, community controlled primary health care across Cape York. We have a family and community centred approach to primary health care and are proud of the fact that over 50 percent of our workforce identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. We believe that employment is integral to the health of individuals, families and communities.
We know that education is the road to employment and that healthy kids have better educational outcomes. By focusing on the health of mums, bubs, toddlers we support school readiness and in turn, school attendance.
Thanks to Close the Gap the infant mortality rate is falling – let’s give that child the best start in life so they can have a healthy, productive future.
“Apunipima supports the key recommendations of the Close the Gap Report and we call on the new government to build on the success of the Close the Gap campaign which is seeing slow but steady gains in a range of health indicators.
Health is a primary concern that needs to be resolved before any benefits can be achieved and this includes resolving a long term plan necessary component of a health community. Traditional Communities often have the internal resources needed toward a healthy community but often this is not enough to sustain them through increasing living cost from outside services. These services need constant monitoring as it often goes against traditional child rearing practices that often been forgotten knowledge or no longer practiced with current situations. Programs that include the traditional child rearing component do better as it draws from a readily supply of resources held often with the Elders. Creating traditional child rearing knowledge into practice should be a necessary as employing Elders to begin passing that knowledge into print. Gradually this knowledge once refined can employ young mothers wanting to become health care givers toward long term success as it instills a sense of belonging. Closing the Gap should be a positive experience overall as it should reflect the needs and wants of Indigenous People’s because it transfers long term responsibilities forward and gradually and completely.