” Large numbers of Aboriginal health workers operate in rural and remote communities and conduct outreach services into some of the most remote locations in Australia.
“Ensuring our workers are safe as they go about their critical work must be a priority for us all,”
NACCHO Chairperson, Matthew Cooke :
Background Over 5,800 staff work in our member services of which 3,200 are Indigenous : Picture above Gidgee Healing’s board and staff at ” Aboriginal Health In Aboriginal Hands ” video shoot :Photographer Wayne Quilliam : Gidgee vision is to make a significant and growing contribution towards achieving equity in health outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across our geographic service area, including the Mount Isa, North West and Lower Gulf regions.
Finding better ways to protect health workers in rural and remote communities will be a priority during a series of upcoming community-led roundtables being hosted by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
“The recent tragic death of a nurse in a remote area of South Australia’s Far North is a terrible reminder of some of the challenges faced by our workforce every day.
“These doctors, nurses and health workers do incredible work, often attending to patients with very complex health needs, providing services in locations hundreds of kilometres from the nearest mainstream health service.
“As a nation, we must find ways to continue to provide quality health care to the people living in these remote locations while at the same time ensuring our workers remain free from harm.”
Mr Cooke said NACCHO remained committed to improving access to quality health care in rural and remote communities throughout Australia.
He commended Minister for Rural Health, Fiona Nash, for recently hosting a meeting of providers and representatives of remote health services and said NACCHO wanted to further engage with NACCHO members to inform next steps.
“This matter needs long term solutions to improve the safety of community and clinicians living and working in rural and remote communities.
“Last year NACCHO launched a series of roundtables of our 150 member Services operating in urban, rural and remote locations.
“It’s critical these grassroots organisations on the health front line are involved in finding solutions to the range of challenges common to those working in such environments.
“NACCHO intends to continue these roundtables with our member Services to canvas the issues of safety and security, discuss health issues and policy, share learnings with each other and plan together.
“The outcomes of these roundtables will be used to inform all levels of governments on the actions needed to ensure the safety of the rural and remote workforce.”
Hear their stories : In 2015 NACCHO engaged a production team to record and edit interviews with Aboriginal health leaders and community members in approx. 20 urban, rural and remote member locations throughout all states and territories of Australia.
At each site NACCHO has interviewed board members , CEO’s , medical, Aboriginal Health Workers, Health Promotion Teams and community members. VIEW HERE