Today at the National Press Club, NACCHO Chair Justin Mohamed launched a report on the economic value of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.
The report provides evidence that Aboriginal health services run by Aboriginal people:
· Provide jobs for more than 3,200 Aboriginal people (over 5,000 in total) and are the main source of Aboriginal employment in many communities;
· Boost education levels of Aboriginal people with onsite training and genuine career paths;
· Provide wages and salaries higher than the average Aboriginal Australian income; and
· Provide the preferred method of primary health delivery to the majority of Aboriginal people in the areas they service with demand growing at more than 6% a year.
“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations are major contributors to closing the appalling health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians by providing culturally appropriate primary health care to Aboriginal people,” Mr Mohamed said.
“We now know that they are even more valuable – providing employment and training opportunities to our people which in turn boost local economies and tackle some of the huge barriers to Aboriginal people achieving economic independence and quality of life.
“The ripple effect of healthy Aboriginal communities cannot be underestimated. Healthy communities keep our kids in school, keep our adults in the workforce and provide a greater opportunity for participation in broader society.
“Ultimately that means reducing welfare dependency, reducing criminal justice rates and diverting people from the need for more expensive health care such as hospital admissions.”