Aboriginal health services return to Aboriginal Community control with the opening of the Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service
27 March 2012 – Sydney: The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) and the Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service have formed a Coalition to support the re-establishment of Aboriginal health services in Dubbo following the closure of Thubbo Aboriginal Medical Co-op Ltd (Thubbo AMS) in 2012.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in the region are concerned about the Dubbo Aboriginal Community’s ability to access culturally appropriate primary health care.
The Coalition was formed to provide interim services to Aboriginal people in Dubbo while also working with the Community towards the long-term goal of establishing a viable ACCHS in Dubbo that is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the local Aboriginal Community.
The Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) will open at 211 Brisbane Street in coming weeks and will soon be taking bookings for GPs to start providing clinics three days per week.
“Restoring access to high-quality, culturally appropriate primary health care in Dubbo, which is delivered by Aboriginal health services from the region, has been our first priority,” said Ms Sandra Bailey, CEO of the AH&MRC.
“The AH&MRC is leading this Coalition to assist the Community with the eventual development of a new Community Controlled Health Service and will coordinate ongoing services in the interim. Bila Muuji has already responded quickly to restore access and primary health care services in the area,” Ms Bailey said.
The Interim Dubbo AMS is located right in the centre of Dubbo and is close to public transport. A toll free hotline has been set up to assist with patient enquires, bookings and concerns. The hotline can be reached on 1800 999 444.
The Interim Dubbo AMS will be open to new clients as well as people who previously attended Thubbo AMS. Thubbo AMS patients who do not wish to access the new service can choose to have their medical records transferred to a health service of their choice by contacting the hotline number listed above.
The establishment of the Interim Dubbo AMS has been supported at Community meetings of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community and also has the endorsement of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community Working Party (DACWP).
The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) also supports this strategy to re-establish culturally appropriate services in Dubbo. “The Government is committed to the concept of Aboriginal community control for the provision of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wherever possible,” said a spokesperson from DoHA.
The AH&MRC will continue to provide information about the ongoing development of the Interim Dubbo AMS as the service gets up and running and grows to meet the local Aboriginal Community’s health needs. Further consultation will take place to ensure there are opportunities for Community input.
“We are committed to working together as a team to support the ultimate goal of re-establishing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Dubbo as a matter of priority,” said Ms Bailey.
The Interim Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service can contacted on 1800 999 444 for clinic appointments and health enquiries.
For all media enquiries please contact Adam Stuart on (02) 9212 4777.
About the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW
The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) is the peak representative body and voice of Aboriginal communities on health in NSW. The AH&MRC represents its members, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs), which deliver culturally appropriate comprehensive primary health care to their communities.
Aboriginal Community Control has its origins in Aboriginal people’s right to self-determination. The AH&MRC is governed by a Board of Directors who are Aboriginal people elected by our members on a regional basis and represents, supports and advocates for our members and their communities on Aboriginal health issues at state and national levels.
Acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council operates and respecting all Elders past and present.