“We have people living in our remote and rural regions who don’t know what optometrists or audiologists are, let alone having visited one, yet such professionals are readily available in our metropolitan cities.
Do Australians think this is fair?
We acknowledge the Federal Coalition Government’s $550m commitment to fund 3000 additional doctors and 3000 additional nurses but doctors and nurses alone won’t do it.
We also need physiotherapists, psychologists, audiologists, social workers and many other allied health professions to be on the ground to provide the comprehensive care needed to address the woeful health statistics in our non-metropolitan regions.
We know that telehealth can deliver things like home-based rehabilitation, mental health care services and aged care support but when 80 per cent of 400 Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory alone don’t even have a 3G or 4G mobile phone signal, there is no way to deliver it.
We want communities to identify digital connectivity solutions for online health care that will work for their area and for the Federal Government to fund these solutions through a national grants program. “
National Rural Health Alliance CEO Mark Diamond acknowledged considerable progress by previous governments in addressing rural doctor shortages but says this is only part of the solution : See full Press Release below
NACCHO Recommendation 10 of 10 #VoteACCHO
Aboriginal health workforce
- Increased support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and increased support for workforce for the ACCHO sector which includes the non-Indigenous health professionals on which ACCHOs rely
- Develop an Aboriginal Employment Strategy for the ACCHS sector
” Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) welcome the announcement of $4.65 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government to support the expansion of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy Model.
The academy is a community-led learning model focused on academic achievement and re-shaping the way training pathways are co-designed and delivered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.
The model aims to embed culturally safe curricula and to be inclusive of local cultural aspirations for successful outcomes where social, cultural and environmental determinants are addressed with wraparound supports. ”
See full Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) Press Release Part 2
National Rural Health Alliance Press Release
An incoming Federal Government needs to immediately address the critical shortage of allied health professionals in rural, regional and remote Australia if the nation is to have any hope of making healthcare accessible to those regions, the National Rural Health Alliance says.
Download a PDF Copy of the full press release
To ensure all Australians have access to healthcare, the NRHA is recommending four key approaches. They are:
- Fund an additional 3000 allied health care professionals. ($300m over 4 years)
- Fund 20 demonstration sites in rural and remote regions with a workforce to match the needs to each and use this to develop future workforce models. ($50m over 4 years)
- Establish a grants program to make sure Australians in rural, regional and remote areas have telecommunications connectivity so they can access healthcare remotely. ($400m over 4 years)
- Make Medicare rebates available for online or telehealth consults offered by GPs and other allied health professionals to people in outer regional, remote and very remote areas. ($420m over 4 years and $180m per year thereafter).
Funding demonstration sites would guide workforce planning for the future.
Some regions, such as western NSW, had already identified that short-term contracts and fly-in, fly-out allied health workforces failed to provide sustainable care with strong impacts on health outcomes.
Grants to improve digital connectivity would also help make healthcare more accessible.
Mr Diamond said the fourth option for improving access to health care was to make Medicare rebates available for online or telehealth consultations offered to people in outer regional, remote and very remote areas.
Medicare rebates for telehealth consultations provided by doctors and psychologists to people in drought-affected areas are already in place.
This initiative would mean extending those rebates to more professions and make them available to people in non-drought affected areas.
The NRHA represents 37 national organisations whose members work in rural, regional and remote Australia.
Check NRHA Election Charter Rural Health Matters! at www.ruralhealth.org.au/election19
Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) welcome the announcement of $4.65 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government to support the expansion of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy Model.
The academy is a community-led learning model focused on academic achievement and re-shaping the way training pathways are co-designed and delivered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students. The model aims to embed culturally safe curricula and to be inclusive of local cultural aspirations for successful outcomes where social, cultural and environmental determinants are addressed with wraparound supports.
In announcing the funding, Minister for Indigenous Health, The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, said:
“I am proud to support the IAHA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy (which is) an incredible achievement in creating training and career pathways into the health sector. These pathways play an important role in improving health care for all Australians, and I acknowledge the work of IAHA in establishing the academy.”
The first academy, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Health Academy (NTAHA), was officially launched in early 2018 in partnership with Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT). Twenty-five Aboriginal students from five Darwin high schools enrolled in the first intake of the NTAHA, with the first cohort due to complete their Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance in December 2019.
IAHA will build on the successes to date and develop partnerships to expand the academy into new regions, including QLD, NSW and the ACT. Local communities and stakeholders will be critical to the future planning and implementation of the new academies, including universities where students can build their knowledge and understanding of the tertiary sector and potential pathways.
IAHA members, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health graduates, have played an important role in providing mentorship and guidance to academy students. IAHA Chairperson, Nicole Turner, has been active in the formation and operation of the academy and said:
“Students are now on an educational and training pathway leading to long term careers in health and have shown interest in a broad range of professions including oral health, pharmacy, speech pathology, nursing, midwifery and medicine. The importance of this model is that it is about supporting students make informed choices and contextualise their opportunities to their local community and workforce needs.”
IAHA look forward to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families, communities and other key stakeholders to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue meaningful careers in health.
Download media release HERE