“Our unique governance model makes the services directly operated by, and accountable to, the local Aboriginal community”
Werin chairman Guy Jones said as an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) his board of directors is elected by the local Aboriginal community to govern the ACCHO/AMS. The organisation, on the road to independence, had to show strong governance, financial management, a sustainable long-term business model and meet clinical requirements.
WERIN Aboriginal Corporation Medical Clinic is in the hands of local decision makers.
Friday marked the start of a stand-alone era as Werin Aboriginal Medical Corporation reached the milestone of becoming an independent medical service.
Board secretary Warren Mason said independence meant the local community could take control of the service and set the agenda based on community needs.
“It allows us to take control on our own needs and care,” he said.
The auspicing arrangements with Biripi Aboriginal medical service have ceased.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said it was great the service had achieved independence after 10 years of successful operation.
“It’s vitally important we deliver quality services to all Australians, no matter where they live, particularly with regional services for Indigenous Australians,” he said.
Mr Hartsuyker said Werin provided holistic services across a range of health disciplines.
Port Macquarie MP and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams said Werin’s independence meant the board had much more local control about what happened in their space.
That principle aligns with the state government’s plan for Aboriginal affairs.
Mrs Williams said one of the platforms of the OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment) plan was about local decision making and prioritising needs.
Werin directly contributes to improving Aboriginal health through increasing access to, and delivering, best practice comprehensive primary health care.
Werin chairman Guy Jones said as an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) a board of directors is elected by the local Aboriginal community to govern each ACCHS.
He said the unique governance model makes the services directly operated by, and accountable to, the local Aboriginal community.
The stand-alone status comes as Werin is awarded an additional $1.1 million in Health Department funding over the next three years to focus on pre-and post-natal care and health care for children up to age five.
NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper
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