NACCHO Member News: Federal investment in FNQ Indigenous health misleading taxpayers says members

Cape York

“The reality is that there is no new money, taxpayers are not paying more, what was announced was a roll up of the amount of funding going to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations over the next three years.”

Chief Executive Officer of Apunipima, Cleveland Fagan.

While welcoming a new funding agreement worth $100 m over three years, the Chief Executive Officers of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, Apunipima, Gurriny Yealamucka, Mamu, Mookai Rosie, Mulungu and Wuchopperen warn people not to be misled by this week’s announcement that $100 m of federal funding is to be invested in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health across the far north to close the health gap.

“The reality is that there is no new money, taxpayers are not paying more, what was announced was a roll up of the amount of funding going to Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations over the next three years.” explained Chief Executive Officer of Apunipima, Cleveland Fagan.

“Using terms like ‘better off’ and ‘richer’ are incredibly misleading as the only increase in funding is related to CPI. In real terms it is the same amount of funding we get now but committed for three years rather than $11m for one year.”

“Although delighted that we now have a three year funding agreement, it is disappointing to see that despite repeated calls for a more integrated and coordinated approach to indigenous health funding there are still 3 billion indigenous health dollars out there that are not being used in the most effective way.

“We know that the health care that is currently being provided is undertaken in an ineffective way and quite often through acute primary care and hospital investment and management. We know the continued costs for hospitalisation and continued expenditure and health system processes directed at this end of the spectrum are expensive and inefficient in working towards closing the life expectancy gap for Cape York Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“What we need to invest in is more effective and efficient frontline preventative and intervention primary health care services.

“A reinvestment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comprehensive primary health care funding through a framework that is community led, driven and delivered would see a more coordinated, efficient and effective use of the funding that can be aligned to incorporate community, cultural and gender issues and social constructs. This will lead to better outcomes in the health, education, employment and economic viability of our communities.

 

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