Aboriginal #HealthBudget17 #IHMayDay17 Should be about #ACCHO Empowerment and Self Determination

 ” Too much funding aimed at improving Aboriginal health is still administered by mainstream health providers, when Aboriginal controlled community health organisations (ACCHOS) are delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Without additional funds ACCHOs cannot consolidate and expand their core services and provide more healthcare to more Aboriginal people.”

NACCHO Chairperson Matthew Cooke on #IHMayDay17

Wednesday, 17 May) is the fourth Indigenous health Twitter festival – #IHMayDay17 – and NACCHO readers are encouraged to participate 7.00 am to 10.00 PM

#IHMayDay – standing for Indigenous Health MayDay – is an annual Twitter event, which provides a full-day of programming, as outlined below, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tweeting about health issues. .

Announcing #IHMayDay17 program – make sure to tune in

 “The peak Aboriginal health organisation has welcomed calls by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, to better integrate the skills and experience of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations into Primary Health Networks.”

See previous NACCHO Press Release Part 2 below

The 2017 Federal Budget is a missed opportunity to put Aboriginal led solutions at the centre of efforts to close the gap in Indigenous health, the leading body for Aboriginal health said today.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chairperson Matthew Cooke welcomed several of the broader health measures announced in the Budget, namely, the lifting of the freeze on the indexation of the Medicare rebates, the restoration of bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology services and the increase in funding for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

NACCHO also supports the government’s decision to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme through a 0.5% increase in the Medicare Levy – which will provide better support for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people with a disability.

However Cooke said too much funding aimed at improving Aboriginal health is still administered by mainstream health providers, when Aboriginal controlled community health organisations (ACCHOS) are delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Without additional funds ACCHOs cannot consolidate and expand their core services and provide more healthcare to more Aboriginal people.

“The Budget includes good initiatives which could most effectively be delivered by our services who have a proven track record at meeting key Closing the Gap targets,” Mr Cooke said.

“For example, the increase in funding for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program is good news and and look forward to working with the government to ensure that our member ACCHOs are seen as a preferred providers under this program.

“NACCHO also welcomes a $52.9 million investment over four years to open up new research avenues into effective and sustainable community health programs.

“The expansion of the Government’s support for community pharmacies will help in delivering proper medication management for patients in rural Aboriginal communities – which is crucial for our 141 member services.

“However, we are extremely concerned by silence on a number of key issues relating to Aboriginal health and another missed opportunity to invest in the growth of Aboriginal community controlled health care services.”

Mr Cooke said the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 is still not fully funded.

He said it is disappointing the Government has not acted on the Prime Minister’s pledge to begin a new partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people by supporting indigenous led solutions outlined by Aboriginal peaks in the Redfern Statement.

The pledge came on the back of the latest Closing the Gap Report, which showed Australia is on track to meet just one of seven targets, and milestones such as infant mortality are going backwards.

“There is absolutely no point writing these Plans or making promises if they are not adequately resourced or acted on,” Mr Cooke said.

“There’s still no commitment to a national strategy involving all levels of government to address the social determinants of health, such as early childhood education for the under 5s, appropriate housing and meaningful employment.

“This Budget is a missed opportunity for the Government to follow through their rhetoric funding for front line services run by Aboriginal health professionals for Aboriginal people that will allow us to turn the statistics around.”

Part 2 :Aboriginal input in Primary Health Networks critical to closing the gap

From 2 March

The peak Aboriginal health organisation has welcomed calls by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, to better integrate the skills and experience of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations into Primary Health Networks.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke, said this was something Aboriginal people had been calling for since the introduction of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and it was great to see the Minister take it on board.

“The evidence tells us that Aboriginal people respond best to health care provided by Aboriginal people or controlled by the Aboriginal community,” Mr Cooke said.

“Armed with this evidence, Primary Health Networks should be doing everything they can to make sure Aboriginal people are involved in their structures and programs.

“They need to better recognise and acknowledge the experience, history and expertise within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

“They should ensure all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s, their regional bodies and state peaks are the preferred providers for any targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.

“They should also have representation from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s on their Board of Directors, Clinical Councils and Community Advisory Committees.

“And they should put into practice the guiding principles developed by NACCHO and PHN’s with the Department of Health Indigenous Health Division.

“These simple but critical steps will ensure Primary Health Networks facilitate the best available service, in the most culturally appropriate way, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their region and ultimately have the best chance of improving their health outcomes.

“Ken Wyatt is to be commended for his leadership in encouraging PHNs to take a look at their structures and question whether they have the relevant expertise at hand.

“Our services across the country welcome the opportunity to work with the Minister and the PHNs to offer the best of support and primary care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation provided almost 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients over the last 12 months and employ 3,300 Indigenous staff across Australia which makes them the largest single employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation.

 

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