NACCHO Health News :Queensland Govt. $200 million “Making Tracks” focussed on closing the Indigenous health gap

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“We are pleased to see the emphasis placed on improved care across the health continuum,” .

Greater emphasis on health promotion and early intervention is critical in reducing the burden of disease on our people.

Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled organisations play a key role in promoting good health and access to primary health care, but we will only achieve better health outcomes for our people when we all work together – as a broader health system.

We applaud the Palaszczuk Government for highlighting mental health outcomes as a priority.

Mental health conditions are one of the most statistically significant conditions we see at TAIHS– second only to hypertension – and one of the areas where we are most under-resourced.

Mental health has a direct impact on overall health and well-being, and we look forward to the roll out of the mental health strategy.”

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Chair of Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Donald Whaleboat welcomed Making Tracks and commended the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.

PHOTO TOP: Cameron Dick (left) At the Townsville Deadly Day Out launching Making Tracks.

The Queensland  Government will put a greater focus on mental health in its approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next three years as part of an overall strategy to bridge the health gap between Indigenous Queenslanders and the broader population.

Health Minister Cameron Dick has released the Government’s priorities for spending $200 million over the next three years in targeting issues in Indigenous health.

Mr Dick  unveiled the Making Tracks investment strategy, part of Queensland’s continuing response to the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, at the Townsville NAIDOC Deadly Day Out at Riverway Parklands in the city’s west.

Making Tracks will guide the government’s investment in Indigenous-specific health services to better support Indigenous Queenslanders and help close the gap in health outcomes.

“Over the next three years, we will continue to direct funding to tackling the leading causes of mortality and preventable hospitalisation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

“A new element in this strategy is improving mental health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders and a separate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health strategy is currently being developed.”

Mr Dick said that mental health had emerged as the leading contributor to the burden of disease among Indigenous people in Queensland, and so action in this area was timely.

“Over the rest of this year we will be developing a more detailed strategy to address the needs of Indigenous Queenslanders with a mental illness.

“This will include action to strengthen the interface between Indigenous community-controlled health services and the public hospital system and to enhance the cultural capability of mainstream mental health services so they can respond more effectively to Indigenous patients..”

Chair of Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Donald Whaleboat welcomed Making Tracks and commended the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.

“We are pleased to see the emphasis placed on improved care across the health continuum,” said Mr Whaleboat.

“Greater emphasis on health promotion and early intervention is critical in reducing the burden of disease on our people.

“Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled organisations play a key role in promoting good health and access to primary health care, but we will only achieve better health outcomes for our people when we all work together – as a broader health system.”

“We applaud the Palaszczuk Government for highlighting mental health outcomes as a priority.

“Mental health conditions are one of the most statistically significant conditions we see at TAIHS– second only to hypertension – and one of the areas where we are most under-resourced.

“Mental health has a direct impact on overall health and well-being, and we look forward to the roll out of the mental health strategy.”

The development of more culturally effective models of service delivery will also continue with an investment of $3.3m each year in embedding cultural capability into clinical practice.

“A new online training program has been developed to help staff acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver culturally capable care in their region of Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

Other government and non-government organisations will also be provided access to these training modules to assist their own cultural capability programs.

The Making Tracks towards closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033 Investment Strategy 2015-2018 can be accessed at www.health.qld.gov.au

 

 

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