“I congratulate RAHC on its outstanding record of providing high-calibre, clinically competent and culturally sensitive health workers for the Northern Territory.
Without this initiative, and dedicated professionals many people would have to go without, or delay health care attendance or have to travel long distances to access care.
While health is its highest priority, the program is also fostering lasting friendships and strengthening links between urban and remote Australia.”
At the RAHC 5000th placement event in Canberra , Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt, said programs like RAHC were making a big difference to the lives of Aboriginal people.
” Several RAHC health professionals have enjoyed their placement in the picturesque community of Areyonga or Utju. Despite its relatively small population, there are some vital services in the area such as a community arts centre, swimming pool, outdoor basketball court, sports ovals, a community store and the Lutheran Church.
Utju Health Service is a remote clinic of Central Australia Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) that provides 24 hours, 7 days a week acute/emergency response through health staff on call and primary health care to the community.
To learn more about this community or any other communities in the Territory, click here
A successful program to help overcome critical health workforce shortages in the Northern Territory has placed its 5000th health professional.
The Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) has given thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ready access to much-needed health care, from general practice to hearing services.
Presenting Victorian Audiologist Dr Vikki Tselepis with the 5000thplacement certificate, Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM with Warren Snowdon MP NT , said the RAHC played a pivotal role in addressing the shortfall in heath service delivery in remote NT communities. Photo Oliver Tye NACCHO
“This highly successful initiative continues to grow, attracting, recruiting and supporting health professionals to undertake short-term placements,” Minister Wyatt said.
“I congratulate RAHC and Aspen Medical on this significant milestone and for their dedication to providing quality care.
“Without the RAHC, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people would have to go without, or delay health care services, or travel considerable distances to access care.
“Delivering affordable and sustainable universal healthcare for all Australians is a Turnbull Government priority, and we must work together to address the cultural and systemic barriers that exist.
“This means investing in a system that is equipped and able to provide culturally safe and respectful care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Since 2008, the RAHC program has expanded from 100 health professional placements annually to more than 660 in 2016–2017. Current Turnbull Government funding is $18 million (2015-16 to 2017-18).
Dr Tselepis says she has a profound respect for Aboriginal people and their culture and is inspired by her role in helping children grow up feeling strong and empowered.
“There is no doubt the program’s expansion has been helped by the 80 per cent repeat rate, with the majority of these mainly urban-based health workers regularly returning to undertake additional placements across the Territory,” said Minister Wyatt.
“For instance, Vikki has undertaken 17 RAHC placements, including the centres of Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Santa Teresa and Wadeye.
“While I am confident more local indigenous health professionals will be trained and live on country, it is vital that health staff like Vikki continue their work, making a huge practical contribution to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”