NACCHO Aboriginal health : Coalition’s focus on improving Aboriginal health service access for regional Australians


“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash pictured above

THE largest rural medicine conference ever held in Australia has been told the federal government has a reform program in place to ensure better access to health services for people living in regional, rural and remote communities. 

Story Picture Brad Cooper

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash (pictured) told 650 delegates in Cairns today that there would be more time and effort put into consulting local professionals and communities about their needs.

The centrepiece of Senator Nash’s address was a commitment to provide $40 million over the forward estimates to support up to 100 additional intern places each year in private hospitals and non-traditional settings, with priority given to positions and rotations in rural and regional areas.

She said the government would provide $13.4 million for an additional 500 scholarships for nurses and allied health professionals, and allow more rural allied health workers to take leave, on top of the 100 allied health locum placements provided each year.

“Further, the government will invest $119 million to double the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Teaching Payment for GPs who provide teaching opportunities with an additional benefit paid to those in rural and remote areas,” Senator Nash said.

“GP practices can also apply for expansion grants for teaching infrastructure based on an equal financial commitment, starting next July.

“Training for existing doctors and nurses in rural areas is also vital to keep up their skill levels and allow them to develop as professionals.

“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr Sheilagh Cronin, Cloncurry, said more support for training students was one of the best ways of increasing doctor numbers in the bush.

“We know that students who spend time in rural communities to get their training and have a positive experience there are more likely to return as registrars before moving to become qualified general practitioners,” she said.

NACCHO conference news: INVITE 2013 Annual CATSINaM Conference

Janine Headshot

Janine Milera :Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) Board,

I would like to invite you to the 2013 Annual CATSINaM Conference


Hotel Realm in Canberra from the 7th –8th of October.

The CATSINaM Conference has been an annual event for CATSINaM members for fifteen years.


Nurses and midwives from all health sectors, student nurses and midwives, and recently graduated nurses and midwives.


1.NETWORKING It brings together experienced nurses and midwives, clinicians, educators, policy makers and administrators from across the nation.

2.SHARING The intention is to share information and work toward an integrated approach to improving health care and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

3.SHOWCASING: It also provides an opportunity to showcase the very real difference being made in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by our members.

4.INFORMATION: There will also be guests from a range of allied health professionals attending, along with representatives from State and Commonwealth Government, higher education and the VET sector and leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Health.


Download the program here


Register here

We look forward to seeing you at the conference and celebrating our achievements with you.

Janine Milera

Chief Executive Officer


For further information on the CATSINaM 13th National Conference & AGM please contact:

Chrystine Stuart


PO Box 1033, Canberra ACT 2601

0427 896 446


NACCHO scholarship alert:Aboriginal Medical Service Professional Development scholarships now open: closes 19 April 2013

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The Aboriginal Medical Service Professional Development scholarships opened on 4 March 2013 and will close 19 April 2013.

 The scholarships are an Australian Government initiative; distributed under the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS), to facilitate continuing professional development (CPD) and to encourage the pursuit of a health career in both rural and metropolitan areas.

 The professional development scholarship is aimed to support nurses and midwives working in an Aboriginal Medical Service.

The scholarships are available for either CPD or postgraduate study and successful applicants may receive up to $15,000 for activities undertaken in the period 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.

 The Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN) Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms is committed to continuing to support the Department of Health and Ageing’s Scholarship Scheme for nurses and midwives and to promote educational opportunities to nurses across Australia.

 “It is encouraging to see the Government’s support of Australian nurse’s careers and ongoing development. These scholarships help to promote nursing as a career within Australia and particularly in Indigenous communities. Scholarships provide nurses with the security they need to further their careers,” Professor Thoms said.

 NAHSSS scholarships are open to Australian citizens whose registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is current as an enrolled nurse, a registered nurse or registered midwife. Applicants must be working in a clinical setting.

 For more information on this, or other NAHSSS scholarships, visit



Contact – NAHSSS Scholarships Team
Phone – 1 800 117 262

NACCHO political alert: Federal Government to establish Chief Allied Health Officer


Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, has announced that the Government would establish the Commonwealth’s first Chief Allied Health Officer to support the work of thousands of important health professionals.

“Allied health professionals make up about 20 per cent of the health workforce in Australia, providing vital services to patients and the establishment of a Chief Allied Health Officer will further strengthen and support their work,” said Ms Plibersek.


“They play a key role in patient care, especially for people with chronic and complex conditions, and the services that they provide are becoming increasingly important with an ageing population.

“The Government recognises the work that allied health professionals do and the Chief Allied Health Officer will provide advice on how best to strengthen their role,” said Ms Plibersek.

The establishment of a Chief Allied Health Officer also responds to a recommendation of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, following its inquiry into the factors affecting the supply of health services and medical professionals in rural areas.

The committee found that allied health professionals face additional challenges in delivering services to regional, rural and remote Australia.

While the Chief Allied Health Officer will have improving the delivery of allied health services in the bush as a key focus, all Australians will benefit from well integrated medical, nursing and allied health care services.

Medicare Locals also provide important new opportunities for allied health services to be more effective and more accessible in local communities across Australia.

The Minister has congratulated Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) and Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) on their commitment to advancing allied health care and supporting allied health students and practitioners across Australia.