Efforts to Close the Gap were bolstered today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising the partnership between the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
The MoU was signed by RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones and NACCHO Chairperson Mr Matthew Cooke at the launch of the RACGP’s Reconciliation Action Plan today at the RACGP National Office in Melbourne.
RACGP President, Dr Frank R Jones said the organisations have a proud history of partnership and have long advocated for increased awareness of barriers to quality healthcare faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
“The signing of this MoU is particularly timely in the wake of last week’s Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage (OID) report which alarmingly revealed a widening gap in certain areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing, most notably mental health,” said Dr Frank Jones.
“The signing of this document signifies our unwavering commitment to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ensuring these populations enjoy optimal physical, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing.
“The RACGP has worked in partnership with NACCHO for many years, lobbying for increased investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and collaborating on key resources for GPs to ensure they are equipped to provide clinically and culturally appropriate care.”
The MoU confirms the collaborative and respectful relationship between the two organisations, who will continue to work together advocating for appropriate resourcing of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and equality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke said the signing of the MoU acknowledged the broad support for the Aboriginal community controlled health sector.
“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are making the biggest inroads in closing the persistent health gap between Aboriginal and other Australians,” Mr Cooke said.
“This MOU formalises the long term collaboration between our two organisations in advocating for better health for Aboriginal people.
“We look forward to continued work with the RACGP and continuing progress in improving the health of our communities.”
The RACGP and NACCHO are committed to achieving Close the Gap campaign goals and are proud of the daily work carried out by members to improve health outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.