Our #ACCHO Members #Closethegap Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #TAS

1.Northern Territory : Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alice Springs

2.Western Australia : Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS). 

3.Victoria: Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Healthy Lifestyle Team

4. Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

5. NSW : Awabakal Medical Service

6.Queensland : Deadly Choices Brisbane  

7. Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

 Our #ACCHO Members #CloseTheGapDay Good News Stories from #NT #WA #VIC #SA #NSW #QLD #TAS

 “For NACCHO the acceptance that our Aboriginal controlled health services deliver the best model of integrated primary health care in Australia is a clear demonstration that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person should have ready access to these services, no matter where they live.

We can more than double the current 140 Aboriginal medical services that will improve health outcomes. Governments at all levels need to make a massive long term investment to redress the social and cultural determinants of health, which are responsible for more than 30 per cent of ill health in our communities.”

On Close the Gap Day lets celebrate our success

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate

or Members Good News Story ? 

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media             Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

1.Northern Territory : Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alice Springs

When Congress started 40 years ago, infant mortality rates were around 170 deaths per 1,000 live births and now they are around 12 . Our babies are no longer dying from easily preventable causes and the challenge has moved to the promotion of healthier development.

 

More than 300 staff are able to provide more than 160,000 episodes of care each year to about 12,000 Aboriginal people living in Alice Springs and in six remote community clinics in Central Australia.”

The Congress’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Donna Ah Chee, says there has been a 30% decrease in all cause mortality for Aboriginal people in the NT since 2001
Download the Report Here : CPHC Congress Final Report
 

The benefits of ‘Aboriginal health in Aboriginal hands’ has received endorsement from a wide-ranging investigation of Australian primary health care services.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs stood out as a leader in the delivery of comprehensive primary health care in a study by Flinders University researchers at the Southgate Institute for Health, Society, and Equity.

Southgate director Professor Fran Baum says the service’s strengths include its ability to provide a one-stop-shop and outreach services, along with free medicines and support, and advocacy on community issues such as improved access to health services, alcohol and early childhood.

Professor Baum says the strengths of Aboriginal community-controlled primary health care service model emerged clearly as part of the six-year study.

“In fact, this model when done well could be described as a world leader in the global push under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for Universal Health Coverage,” Professor Baum says.

“The Congress was the best example of all six services studied because it so effectively provides the community with self-determination, and greater control over their own health and health care rather than other more top-down programs run by government and other agencies.

“The genius of the Aboriginal community-controlled model is that it is able to take the best of a strong medical model of care and combine it with a social health model.”

Southgate senior research fellow Toby Freeman says the research bears out other commentary about the need for more Aboriginal community controlled primary health care services and other Aboriginal controlled organisations.

“As chronic disease in Australia continues to rise, and accessibility of health care becomes a greater concern, the research points to the importance of safeguarding and looking at alternative models of health care,” Mr Freeman says.

“We have found Aboriginal community controlled health services can comprehensively help people to tackle ill health and promote good health in the community.”

Read the article “Case Study of an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Service in Australia: Universal, Rights-Based, Publicly Funded Comprehensive Primary Health Care in Action”

at https://www.hhrjournal.org/2016/12/case-study-of-an-aboriginal-community-controlled-health-service-in-australia-universal-rights-based-publicly-funded-comprehensive-primary-health-care-in-action/ .

The findings have also been the subject of a report “Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands” by Dr Pamela Lyon, at

http://www.flinders.edu.au/medicine/fms/sites/southgate/documents/CPHC%20Congress%20Final%20Report.pdf

2.Western Australia : Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS). 

Past CEO Terry Brennan, current CEO Deborah Woods with MC for the event and respected elder Dr Richard Walley OAM

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE: A $3.8 million Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Health has been officially opened by the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) on 9 March

It’s been developed in partnership with the WA Centre for Rural Health and will combine clinical primary health care with training, workforce development and research opportunities.

CEO Deborah Woods says the new facility will allow GRAMS and other registered providers to deliver new training opportunities for people working in Aboriginal health.

“It will help us create a future workforce with cultural and practical skills to work within Aboriginal organisations and with Aboriginal colleagues, patients and community,” Ms Woods said.

“The aim is also to get people to reconsider the aim of taking on tertiary education in the health sector particularly in areas that are of great need for Aboriginal people.

“For example doctors, we’ve done extremely well in the recruitment and the education of Aboriginal people to go on and become medical doctors and there’s been a huge influx, but we also need people to look and consider physiotherapy, speech therapy, dentistry and so all of those other allied health areas, there is a great demand for those type of skills in the organisation.”

Background

GRAMS Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal Primary Health Care and Training was developed with the purpose of maintaining Aboriginal community input and control over all GRAMS operations. We aim to increase staff and community understanding of the GRAMS mission, vision and values as well as preparing plans for the future growth of the organisation.

The Centre was developed in partnership with Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) and the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and will enable both organisations to create a centre of excellence that blends clinical primary health care with training and research opportunities. It offers three pillars of service delivery: Family Health (child and maternal health); Social, Emotional and Wellbeing and Chronic Disease care.

The Centre includes a newly built training area in which GRAMS and registered training providers can deliver new training opportunities for people working in Aboriginal health. This will provide opportunities to upskill local Aboriginal health staff to more advanced professional roles as well as opportunities for training non-Aboriginal providers in a high functioning Aboriginal community controlled health service in how to best support Aboriginal people in managing their health.

The Centre is located at the GRAMS premises on Rifle Range Road in Geraldton.

The Centre of Excellence achievements to date are as follows:

  • Established a new clinic in Mt Magnet
  • Increased services to the Murchison and Gascoyne districts
  • Improved coordination and quality of clinical services
  • The receipt of funds to expand the GRAMS Rifle Range Road building to develop the Centre of Excellence
  • Partnerships developed with WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) supporting the development of the Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal Primary Health Care and Training
  • Improved business management systems and processes
  • Recognition of GRAMS leadership role in research and research translation
  • Implementation of an after-hours service
  • Increased state and national recognition of GRAMS strengths and achievements
  • Increased specialist services
  • Demonstrated improved service partnerships with other health stakeholders through achievements of the Yamatji Regional Forum

3.Victoria: Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Healthy Lifestyle Team

DEADLY DAN – Number 2!

Deadly Dan dropped into the VACSAL Statewide Basketball Carnival on Day One to spread the word about Staying Smoke Free, eating lots of fruit and veg, getting moving and drinking water.

#DeadlyDan#StaySmokeFree#vahshlt

Check us out and LIKE on FACEBOOK

4. Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia

With smoking a well known habit for many people. the Aboriginal Health Council recently sent its Tackling Indigenous Smoking Team, the Puyu Blasters, to a recent McRitchie Park Fun Day.

Originally posted

The community initiative aims to provide regional level engagement with communities through smoking education and raising awareness to reduce Indigenous smoking rates in regional and remote communities in South Australia.

The group put together a smoking survey with the aim of collecting evidence of smoking prevalence in communities (how many smokers and non-smokers) and how many know the dangers of smoking and the existence of environmental smoke or second hand (passive) smoking.

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Project Officer Zena Wingfield said the surveys help to provide the group with a snapshot of the community in terms of what they know about smoking.

“The questions in the survey are not confronting or judgmental about people’s smoking habits,they are probing questions aimed at finding out what people know about smoking,” she said.

“They also aim to uncover what measures people take to provide a smoke free space for the vulnerable; children, pregnant women and those with respiratory issues for example asthma.

“ We also find what the community’s knowledge is of changing laws about smoking in public spaces, for example, outdoor eatery’s, public transport stops and sporting fields/playgrounds.”

The five key areas of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking initiative are:

  • Quality and reach of community engagement
  • Organisations involved in tobacco reduction in the region
  • Building a capacity to support quitting
  • Referrals to appropriate quitting support
  • Supporting smoke-free environment

Those who completed the group’s smoking surveys at the McRitchie Park Fun Day were entered into a draw to win a Coles voucher for their age group.

Alice Abdulla received the $100 Coles voucher for the Family survey, while Jasmine Abdulla won a $50 Coles voucher for completing the Youth Survey.

The Puyu (translation ‘Smoke’) Blasters Programme has project officers based in 5 regional areas in South Australia – Whyalla, Port Augusta, Yalata, Port Lincoln and Coober Pedy.

There are an additional 4 project officers based in Adelaide who travel around to small regional areas and work with local schools, youth, health and community groups.

To get in contact with Ms Wingfield for a support referral or advice to quit smoking, or to organise an educational session, you can reach her on  (08) 8649 9900 or at zena.wingfield@nunyara.org.au.

You can follow the Puyu Blasters on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PuyuBlastersAHCSA/.

5. Awabakal 40 th Anniversary Dinner

Over our 40 years, Awabakal has called many different sites ‘home’, from Newcastle University, Carrington and the corner of Hunter and Tutor Street in Newcastle CBD.

This journey has led us to settle at our current site in Wickham which has been used as a multi-purpose community hub during this time.

We are proud to now have the addition of three more Awabakal sites – our Medical Centre in Hamilton and our Early Learning Centres in Glendale and Wickham. It has been wonderful to see our organisation grow over the past four decades and we look forward to what the future holds for Awabakal.

#ThrowbackThursday #tbt #40years

40 years respecting the past, leading the future – the legacy lives on

Since 1977, Awabakal has been providing primary health care, aged care, children and family services to Indigenous people living throughout the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley regions. Our legacy lives on through the services we provide.

More info

6. Queensland Deadly Choices

Great to have a visit from the Deadly and talented artist Chern’ee Sutton last week. Chern’ee’s artwork once again appeared on this year’s NRL Indigenous All Stars shirt.

Be quick book in for your health check at your local participating AMS and get a limited edition DC All Stars inspired health check shirt. To locate your nearest clinic visit www.iuih.org.au/clinics

7. Tasmania Aboriginal Centre ( TAC )

NACCHO #coagvawsummit Aboriginal Health and violence against women : ACCHO’s join #AMA and #Fare calling for policy interventions

coagvawsummit

 “A coalition of alcohol experts including doctors and researchers have accused federal, state and territory governments of failing to properly acknowledge the role of alcohol in family violence.

The Council of Australian Governments two-day summit on family violence will begin on today in Brisbane, prompting the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education to issue a statement of concern.”

Among the 21 signatories are family violence experts, emergency department doctors and alcohol researchers and the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation and former NACCHO CEO Donna Ah Chee.

Download Fare Statement of Concern

or read full statement below

statement-of-concern-coag-national-summit-oct-2016

 ” But it is clear that the overwhelming majority of people who experience such violence are women.

“The most prevalent effect is on mental health, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse.

“There are also serious physical health effects including injury, somatic disorders, chronic disorders and chronic pain, gastro-intestinal disorders, gynaecological problems, and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.

As a community, we must stamp out violence against Australian women, and bring an end to all forms of family and domestic violence, whoever the victim.

“This will involve commitment and coordination from governments; support services; the related professions, especially medical, health, and legal; neighbourhoods; and families – backed by adequate funding.”

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon see full press release below

These policy interventions have the full support by frontline services and health professionals who have long been advocating for preventive action.

We know what works, and armed with that evidence we now need the political will to introduce evidence-based measures that look beyond headlines and election cycles and will be effective in saving lives and reducing the damage wrought by alcohol behind closed doors,”

General Practitioner and public health medical officer at the Central Australian Aboriginal Health Congress Dr John Boffa

“We fear that the forum today and the future discussions will continue to ignore alcohol’s role in family violence and fail to embrace strategies to address the issue,” the statement said.

Fare Statement of Concern

“We know from our research that the role of alcohol in family violence cannot be ignored. Alcohol contributes to between 23 to 65% of domestic incidents reported to police and between 15 to 47% of child abuse cases reported in Australia.

“More than a third of intimate-partner homicides involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator.”

The foundation’s chief executive, Michael Thorn, said he expected New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research to be released in a few weeks’ time to show a significant and immediate drop in family violence as a direct result of the state’s lockout and last-drinks laws and tightened bottle-shop closing hours.

“There don’t seem to be any alcohol or mental health experts attending this domestic violence summit, even though we know from research their significant contribution to family violence,” Thorn said.

“We suspect the third national family violence plan will be launched at this summit and there has being very little engagement with alcohol experts about that plan. So we fear that there is unlikely to be anything of anything substance in that plan in relation to alcohol that can be done to address family violence.”

This included reforming the way alcohol is taxed, restricting the sale of alcohol to reduce its availability, and tackling the sexualisation of alcohol through advertising, he said.

Among the signatories to the statement were professor of social work at the University of Melbourne and domestic violence researcher, Cathy Humphreys, and the chief executive officer of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation, Donna Ah Chee.

The chief executive officer of Domestic Violence Victoria, Fiona McCormack, who was not a signatory to the statement, said she would be surprised if governments weren’t taking the role of alcohol in family violence seriously. “My experience of the federal government and in fact all governments is that they’re working from the current evidence,” McCormack said.

“It’s really important to consider the issue of alcohol and the impact it has and, in particular, the way it can exacerbate the impact of the violence. However, I’d be concerned if this was about closing down the argument to only focus on alcohol, because we need a plurality of expertise and strategies to address family violence.”

But a signatory to the statement, Assoc Prof David Caldicott, an emergency consultant at Calvary hospital in Canberra,said governments were not taking the role of alcohol “an an agent in harm” seriously.

“I completely understand the perspective of those who are concerned that focusing on alcohol takes away from the role of the responsibility of the perpetrator,” he said.

“Intoxication is never an excuse for violence. But I don’t think focusing on alcohol dilutes anything. You can debate whether alcohol is associated with or causes family violence, but there is no dispute that it is heavily associated with it.”

NACCHO #NTRC Aboriginal Health : Two NT #ACCHO ‘s funded for support services for people impacted by the Commission.

royal-commission

 ” The Commonwealth Department of Social Services has announced that funding has been provided for support services for children, young people, their families and others impacted by the Commission.

Royal Commission website

Discussing experiences of the child protection system or time spent in youth detention can be difficult. This is especially so for people who experienced abuse and are telling their story for the first time.”

The Territory-wide Helpline is 1800 500 853

  • This is a free helpline which will be answered locally, available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Experienced and qualified staff can refer people to a range of services including counsellors, therapeutic support, and health professionals
  • Calls made from a mobile phone may incur additional costs

Update : CANCELLATION OF HERMANNSBURG COMMUNITY MEETING

The Commission confirms that tomorrow’s proposed community in Hermannsburg (20 October 2016) has been cancelled due to other business in the community.

Details of the individual services funded and how to contact them directly are

Danila Dilba Health Service – services include:

  • trauma-informed and culturally safe face to face and telephone counselling and support services delivered by psychologists and qualified counsellors
  • practitioners experienced in pre, during and post Royal Commission counselling and support;
  • therapeutic group services
  • culturally safe support and advocacy services to young people impacted by youth detention delivered by experienced Youth Support and Engagement practitioners
  • a broad suite of primary health care services tailored for men, women and children delivered by Aboriginal Health Practitioners, GP’s and maternal, paediatric and allied health, etc, specialists;
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs services
  • chronic disease care coordination; and health education and promotion

Phone

(08) 8942 5400 Darwin, Palmerston and Malak

Website www.daniladilbaexperience.org.au/about-us.html

Relationships Australia NT – services include:

  • trauma-informed culturally appropriate support and information on how to engage with the Royal Commission and what to expect from the enquiry process
  • face to face and telephone counselling by qualified counsellors
  • support through legal processes
  • referrals to legal and advocacy services
  • pre and post counselling support to those directly affected who are giving evidence as well as their families
  • mentoring by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural advisors, and healing camps on Country.

Phone

(08) 8923 4999 Darwin and Katherine office with outreach to other areas

(08) 8950 4100 Alice Springs office with outreach to other areas

Website www.nt.relationships.org.au/locations/darwin

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress – services include:

  • trauma-informed and culturally safe counselling and support services for Aboriginal children, young people and families affected by the events and stories of the Royal Commission in Youth Detention
  • a holistic suite of primary health care services for men, women, young people and children
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs services
  • youth mental health services
  • Family Support Programs
  • chronic disease care coordination; sexual health and health promotion

Phone

(08) 8959 4750 Alice Springs and surrounding areas

Website www.caac.org.au

other support

Hearing and talking about child protection and kids in detention can be hard for young people, parents, families and communities.

There are a number of other  services available which can provide support wherever you are in the NT. If you need support you can call the following services:

Lifeline Freecall 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
NT Mental Health Help Line 1800 682 288
Headspace (12-25 years)     1800 659 388 or 8931 5999
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

NACCHO Aboriginal Health Day at #PHAACDN2016 Intergenerational disadvantage cycle needs to be broken says Donna Ah Chee

 

dac

 ” There is an urgent need to do more to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage that is affecting many of our children

Congress has developed an integrated model for child and family services that provides a holistic service and program response to this issue within a comprehensive primary health care service.

In addition to making Australia a more equal and fairer society through redistributive policies, including taxation reforms, there is an urgent need to provide key evidence based early childhood programs for disadvantaged children.

This is the “bottom up” pathway to greater individual and collective control, equality and social inclusion,

The Conference is an opportunity to bring attention to proposed strategies key to addressing prevalent health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.”.

 Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation’s (Congress) CEO Ms Donna Ah Chee.

WATCH Interview with Donna Here on NACCHO TV

On the second day of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) 44th Annual and 20th Chronic Diseases Network Conference in Alice Springs, the primary focus is on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and strategies to address the cycle of ill health, chronic conditions and low life expectancy.

“A major priority in the prevention of premature death and chronic disease among Aboriginal people in Australia is the prevention of harm caused by alcohol through adopting effective strategies proven to reduce the levels of dangerous consumption at a population level,” continued Ms Ah Chee.

The latest Australia’s health 2016 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released last week shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are 3.5 times more likely to have diabetes and twice as likely to have coronary heart disease.

Download Report here australias-health-2016

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples living in remote and low socioeconomic areas have an even greater chance of developing a chronic disease and dying from it.

This Conference addresses the link between public health and chronic conditions while considering the social determinants of health. Generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are being affected by these determinants and the cycle needs to stop,” said PHAA CEO Michael Moore.

“Prevention initiatives to deter tobacco and alcohol use and improve nutrition and physical activity need to be implemented to reduce the preventable diseases like type II diabetes in these communities. The cycle needs to be broken for the adults currently managing their symptoms and for their children who have not yet been affected,” said Mr Moore.

Ms Ah Chee says the Conference is an opportunity to bring attention to proposed strategies key to addressing prevalent health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“So much of the adverse impacts of poverty and other social determinants of health are mediated to children through the care and stimulation they receive in their early years. Many parents struggle to overcome their own health issues and the impact of their own poverty and they need additional support for their children,” said Ms Ah Chee.

“Congress has developed an integrated model for child and family services that provides a holistic service and program response to this issue within a comprehensive primary health care service.

In addition to making Australia a more equal and fairer society through redistributive policies, including taxation reforms, there is an urgent need to provide key evidence based early childhood programs for disadvantaged children. This is the “bottom up” pathway to greater individual and collective control, equality and social inclusion,” said Ms Ah Chee.

The joint PHAA 44th Annual Conference and 20th Chronic Diseases Network Conference will be held from 18 – 21 September 2016 in Alice Springs, NT. The theme is Protection, Prevention, Promotion, Healthy Futures: Chronic Conditions and Public Health. #PHAACDN2016

More INFO about NACCHO Aboriginal Health AGM edition here

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agm

 

NACCHO Health News Alert : AMA proposes new Aboriginal Health Science Centre in Central Australia

ama

 “The AMA recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a lead role in identifying and developing solutions to respond to their health needs

It  sees the proposed Health Science Centre as a very significant endeavour to improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal people living in remote communities. There are already tangible benefits from this type of collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to health services and research.

The aim of the AHSC is to prioritise their joint efforts, principally around workforce and capacity building and to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in health services and medical research.

Establishing and operating this Centre would cost $4 million a year – a modest ask considering the potential benefits it could deliver.

Small investments can make a big difference

Dr Michael Gannon AMA President

For the AMA, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health has been, and will remain, a priority. It is our responsibility to advocate for and support efforts to improve health and life outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.

The AMA works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a number of ways to contribute to our mutual goal of closing the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

We have close relationships with NACCHO, the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association and the Close the Gap Steering Committee, through which we collectively contribute to the national debate on Indigenous health issues. The Taskforce on Indigenous Health, which I Chair, is another way that the AMA works in partnership with Indigenous people.

Each year, through the Taskforce, the AMA produces an annual Report Card on Indigenous Health – a landmark publication that makes practical recommendations to governments on how key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues should be addressed.

This year the Report Card will have as its focus the eradication of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). RHD is an entirely preventable, third world condition that is wreaking havoc on the lives of Indigenous people in remote communities, primarily those in central and northern Australia. The 2016 Report Card on Indigenous Health will be a vital contribution to addressing RHD – a disease that should not be seen in Australia in the 21st century.

The AMA also supports policies and initiatives that aim to reduce other chronic and preventable diseases – many of which have an unacceptably high prevalence in remote Indigenous communities. An example of this is the little-known blood-borne virus HTLV-1, which in Australia occurs exclusively in remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia.

The AMA recognises that Aboriginal people living in Central Australia face many unique and complex health issues, and that these require specific research, training and clinical practice to properly manage and treat.

The AMA, as part of our broader 2016 election statement, called on the next government to support the establishment of a Central Australian Academic Health Science Centre.

This is a collaboration driven by a consortium of leading health professionals and institutions, including: AMSANT, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Central Australia Health Service, Centre for Remote Health, Charles Darwin University, Flinders University, Menzies School of Health Research, Ngaanyatjarra Health Service and Nganampa Health Service.

Some examples of achievements include: the Central Australia Renal Study, which informs effective allocation of scarce health resources in the region; the Alice Springs Hospital Readmissions Prevention Project, which aims to reduce frequent readmissions to hospital; and the Health Determinants and Risk Factors program, which better informs health and social policy by understanding the relationship between health and other factors such as housing, trauma and food security.

Having a designated Health Science Centre would be a massive boost for research, clinical services, and lead to greater medical research and investment. The Centre would likely see more expertise and opportunities to develop Aboriginal researchers and health care workers.

Establishing and operating this Centre would cost $4 million a year – a modest ask considering the potential benefits it could deliver.

The AMA recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a lead role in identifying and developing solutions to respond to their health needs – the proposed Central Australian Academic Health Science Centre is a clear example of this.

The AMA will continue to support the efforts of Indigenous people to improve health outcomes and urges governments to do the same.

 

NACCHO #closethegap kidney and heart disease : How can we cut salt, sugar in basic foods in remote Aboriginal communities

 

N2

“Food manufacturers should find ways to reduce salt and sugar in basic foods to help prevent the high rates of kidney disease in remote Australian communities, .

Lowering the cost of healthy food in remote areas — where the burden of end-stage kidney disease is up to 30 times higher than the rest of Australia — was not enough.

The health sector should partner up with food manufacturers to lower the salt content in foods like bread and processed meat, which are the major contributors to kidney and heart disease.”

“The new initiatives, we hope, might involve trying to improve the quality of food that’s in the food supply that people naturally get, so that people eat and enjoy food with a lower salt content without even noticing,” Professor Cass said.

He said it was important for partnerships to be formed between stores and communities with the goal of making healthy food accessible and affordable.

“[It’s essential] to try to work with schools so that kids themselves are involved in programs to make healthy food attractive,” Professor Cass said.

Rate of kidney disease in the NT worst in the world

These are mothers and fathers with children … people at the peak of their community and family activity who are affected by this illness

Professor Alan Cass, Menzies School of Health Research

The Northern Territory has the highest rate of kidney disease in Australia and the world, and is a major community and health service problem.

The rate is also far higher among the Indigenous population, particularly young people.

“These are mothers and fathers with children, people who might otherwise be in employment if they weren’t very unwell,” Professor Cass said.

“So it’s people at the peak of their community and family activity who are affected by this illness.”

Money making its way to people who need it most

The federal and Territory governments have increased efforts to bolster treatment services for people with end-stage kidney disease, and injected $25 million to the cause in July last year.

Sarah Brown from the Alice Springs-based dialysis treatment centre Purple House said the money had helped keep her centre’s door open for the next three years.

She said it had also kickstarted the building of new dialysis infrastructure in remote communities so sick people did not have to go to cities for treatment.

A woman receives dialysis

“When we talk to patients and families, the number one issue is having access to country and family and not being away from all those things that are important,” Ms Brown said.

“So we’ve made considerable strides in that front, but there are still lots of people who are stuck away from their families to access treatment.”

Ms Brown said there also needed to be more money made available for kidney transplant services.

But both Ms Brown and Professor Cass said the long-term policy focus had to be on prevention.

“In terms of improving access to effective prevention treatment, screenings for kidney damage and best possible control of diabetes, blood pressure, smoking cessation and diet for people with early kidney disease,” Professor Cass said.

Ms Brown agreed screenings and diet were part of the solution.

“Kidney disease is a disease of poverty, powerlessness and dispossession,” Ms Brown said.

“Communities need to have some agency over their lives and future: housing, education, environmental health. What’s really important is people having a vision for their future and some understanding that life on communities and their culture is valued by the general Australian community.”

Declaration of Interest : The editor of NACCHO Communique Colin Cowell was the originator of the Cuz Congress food branding concept

DO YOU HAVE AN Aboriginal Health message to share with out 100,000 readers in 150 communities and 302 Medical Clinics ??

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ir culture is valued by the general Australian community.”

 

NACCHO Aboriginal health : Radical rethink of housing is key to a healthy future in remote communities: Scullion

Picture-043

Opinion article by NIGEL SCULLION Minister for Indigenous Affairs

As published in The Australian March 2014

PICTURE ABOVE from THE STRINGER TONY ABBOTT MUST DO  :Inspection of Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Programme work in Santa Teresa, Northern Territory, April 2011. Tony Abbott with Adam Giles, Alison Anderson and Nigel Scullion.

The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing initiated by the former government in 2008, has not delivered on the promise of being a ‘long-term fix to the emergency’ in remote Indigenous housing.

 The byzantine national agreement arrangement is unwieldy and does not reflect the very different environments that need to be dealt with across the country.  Bilateral agreements with states and the Northern Territory may be a better way to go.

In very remote Australia, housing is central to meeting our priorities of getting kids to school, encouraging adults into work and providing for safe communities where the rule of law applies.

More than $2.5 billion was spent by the Rudd/Gillard government from 2008 through the national agreement.  Indigenous Australians tell me that they have not got value for money.

Delivery of housing in remote communities has been marked by delays, cost blowouts and bureaucracy.

New houses can cost more than $600,000 and have an average lifespan of only 10 to 12 years.  There have been poor standards of construction, unsatisfactory rental payment arrangements and sub-standard tenancy management.

Despite this massive expenditure there can be no argument that overcrowding remains chronic in remote Australia where there is no regular, functional housing market. There are no private rental options and no home ownership opportunities in most of these places. Most of these communities are dependent on Commonwealth funded public housing and this has been badly managed.

Residents of remote communities need to have the option, as others in Australia enjoy, of private rental and home ownership. Any strategies that we adopt must work towards that goal.

A radical rethink is overdue.

The states and Northern Territory governments must manage remote Indigenous housing just as they do other public housing.  Rental agreements should be in place and enforced; rents should be collected; any damage caused by occupants should be paid for by occupants; and, municipal services should be delivered to acceptable standards by the jurisdictions.

This is how social housing operates in non-remote areas.  Why should it be any different in remote Indigenous communities?

Why have we come to expect lower standards from housing authorities and residents in remote areas? Is it another layer of passive racism to accept less for Indigenous people in remote Australia?

Why are we building houses in places where land tenure arrangements prevent people from ever buying the house?

One aspect that I will be focusing on is how we can offer housing in a way that encourages mobility for those who want to move to areas with better employment opportunities.

I will be working with the states and Northern Territory governments to reform the current arrangements that are clearly failing residents of Indigenous communities.

In negotiations, I will want to set some conditions that might include:

  • moving relatively quickly towards building social housing only in those places that have appropriate land tenure arrangements in place for home ownership;
  • attractive mobility packages for remote residents, including portability of special housing and home ownership eligibility for those who want to move to areas with stronger labour markets;
  • ensuring rents are set at mainstream social housing rates and requirements of tenants are specified, understood and complied with;
  • a requirement for states and territories to apply their usual sale of social housing policy, as occurs in urban and regional areas, based on realistic market values; and
  • priority for the allocation of social housing to families in employment or where children are regularly attending school.

We also need to ensure that people in social housing are not adversely affected when taking up employment opportunities. This however is mainly an issue for mainstream social housing rather than remote Indigenous housing.

I know that a number of jurisdictions are focused on reform and I look forward to working with them.

However, if a state or territory is not up to the task, the Commonwealth might have to step in and take over delivery of social housing or contract providers with significant Indigenous and community involvement to do the job.

 

You can hear more about Aboriginal health and social determinants at the NACCHO SUMMIT June Melbourne Convention Centre

summit-2014-banner

The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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NACCHO HEALTH NEWS:Alcohol enquiry good opportunity to examine policy for combating alcohol abuse in Aboriginal communities says NACCHO chair

ABORIGINAL INTERVENTION LEGISLATION DARWIN

You need to look at the community. You need to engage the community in the initiatives and the things that can work have to be owned and obviously embraced and I think once you achieve that, the more successful things that I’ve seen, heard about and read about have been ones where there’s been some real leadership from within the community and from the leaders and organisations that are obviously providing services and looking after their community interests

I believe the inquiry is a good opportunity to examine what policy approaches have worked or haven’t worked at combating alcohol abuse in Indigenous communities

Justin Mohamed NACCHO chair speaking on  World News Radio

Indigenous organisations have called for effective community consultation as the federal government launches a new inquiry into alcohol consumption in Indigenous communities.

The parliamentary inquiry was initially intended to look at alcohol-related violence across the country but has now been narrowed to deal specifically with Indigenous communities.

Some Indigenous health groups are hopeful the inquiry could lead to more effective strategies to tackle alcohol abuse, providing Indigenous communities are properly engaged as part of the process.

Michael Kenny reports.

(Click on audio tab to listen to this item)

The inquiry is to be conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs, chaired by Liberal MP Sharman Stone.

FULL DETAIL OF ENQUIRY HERE

It will look at the patterns of supply and demand for alcohol in Indigenous communities and the incidence of alcohol-fuelled violence.

The inquiry will also examine how alcohol impacts upon unborn and newborn babies and what approaches have worked in other countries to combat alcohol abuse.

The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion, has told NITV the government is not trying to single out Indigenous Australians as the only group that has problems with alcohol.

“This is about poverty, not ethnicity. But I acknowledge that there have always been and we have never really seen a break, particularly in reports of domestic violence, defence injuries, alcohol, deaths through alcohol…. through cars….and violence.”

Senator Scullion says the inquiry will also look at how socio-economic background could be linked to alcohol abuse.

The opposition Labor Party in the Northern Territory is critical of the inquiry, saying it’s “insulting” towards Indigenous Australians.

However, some Indigenous organisations believe it could be a step in the right direction towards tackling alcohol abuse.

Dr John Boffa is the medical officer with the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and has worked in the Indigenous health field for over 20 years.

He has told NITV he believes an investigation into Indigenous alcohol abuse is long overdue.

“This is a useful inquiry. Alcohol problems are obviously very prevalent in Aboriginal communities. But I think if the inquiry is done well, it’s got the potential to provide some solutions that will address alcohol misuse, not just amidst Aboriginal people but amongst the broader population as well.”

That’s a view shared by the chairman of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Justin Mohamed.

Mr Mohamed believes the inquiry is a good opportunity to examine what policy approaches have worked or haven’t worked at combating alcohol abuse in Indigenous communities.

Alcohol restrictions have been in place in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, parts of the Kimberley region in Western Australia and in Cape York in Queensland for a number of years.

However Mr Mohamed believes it is critical to ensure that any scrutiny around these policies is underpinned by consultation and engagement with the Indigenous communities themselves.

“You need to look at the community. You need to engage the community in the initiatives and the things that can work have to be owned and obviously embraced and I think once you achieve that, the more successful things that I’ve seen, heard about and read about have been ones where there’s been some real leadership from within the community and from the leaders and organisations that are obviously providing services and looking after their community interests.”

Mr Mohamed says while previous government inquiries have looked at social problems like domestic violence in Indigenous communities, it is the first time an inquiry has focused specifically on alcohol abuse.

He says it is pleasing to see that the inquiry will look at what strategies have worked in Indigenous communities in other countries, saying Australia could learn a lot from that.

“Like Canada and New Zealand- obviously there would be things happening around alcohol and how they can manage that and make sure that the community is not affected at levels that are unacceptable. You would have to look internationally as well to make sure that you get a really good idea on what is out there and what does work and how that has worked over the years.”

The inquiry has called for public submissions to be made by April 17.

NEWS ALERT :

NACCHO at the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB-Canberra

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APRIL 2 2012

Aboriginal Healthy Futures makes economic sense

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NACCHO Congress Alice Springs NEWS : Effective partnerships” in Aboriginal community controlled health sector could be copied in housing and employment

PAC

“There are two separate but interdependent health systems, the hospital for the really sick, and Congress for primary health care, minimising the need for hospital admissions. In that way the primary health care of Congress, identifying patients’ health issues early, works hand in glove with the NT’s hospital system.

This “effective partnership” in health between the NT and Federal governments and the Aboriginal community controlled health sector could readily be copied in the housing and employment fields, leading to equally positive results.

Donna Ah Chee, (pictured above left with Pat Anderson ) CEO of the $38m a year Central Australian Aboriginal Congress,

“Investing in Aboriginal community controlled health makes economic $ense”

Justin Mohamed chair of NACCHO launching the NACCHO Healthy Futures  Summit Melbourne Convention Centre June 24-26

A meeting of some 60 non-government organisations (NGOs) yesterday heard about successful ways for services to cooperate, but also laid bare absurd failures of the current system.

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FROM THE ALICE NEWS : FOLLOW HERE

The meeting was not open to the public but Donna Ah Chee, CEO of the $38m a year Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, says her organisation’s role in the health system showed how an NGO can complement – not duplicate – state providers.

The collaboration between the Territory’s health services, the Commonwealth Health Department and Aboriginal community controlled health services including Congress makes the NT the only jurisdiction on target to “close the gap” in life expectancy by 2031.

As a result of this successful partnership Ms Ah Chee says there had been about a 30% reduction in “all causes” of early death with the death rate declining from 2000 to 1400 people per 100,000,” says Ms Ah Chee.

The partnership on the ground means that services like Congress works on preventative health – keeping as many people as possible out of hospital – and if they have to go there, take care of them when they come out.

“There are two separate but interdependent health systems,” says Ms Ah Chee, “he hospital for the really sick, and Congress for primary health care, minimising the need for hospital admissions.”

In that way the primary health care of Congress, identifying patients’ health issues early, works hand in glove with the NT’s hospital system.

This “effective partnership” in health between the NT and Federal governments and the Aboriginal community controlled health sector could readily be copied in the housing and employment fields, leading to equally positive results.

Ms Ah Chee says the competitive tendering for government money is at the root of much of much dysfunction, causing “fragmentation of services, a multitude of services on the ground”.

She says in one small bush community there are about 17 providers just in the mental health field: “It’s bureaucracy gone mad. Everyone goes for the dollar. Better needs based planning is what’s urgently required.”

Ms Ah Chee says the meeting, called by the Department of the Chief Minister, has shown up the potentials and the problems of the system. It now remains to be seen what is done about them

summit-2014-banner

The importance of our NACCHO member Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) is not fully recognised by governments.

The economic benefits of ACCHS has not been recognised at all.

We provide employment, income and a range of broader community benefits that mainstream health services and mainstream labour markets do not. ACCHS need more financial support from government, to provide not only quality health and wellbeing services to communities, but jobs, income and broader community economic benefits.

A good way of demonstrating how economically valuable ACCHS are is to showcase our success at a national summit.

SUMMIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO

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NACCHO CTG member response :NT only jurisdiction on track to close the gap by 2031: Congress Alice Springs

Donna Ah chee

Closing the Gap is working but requires long term commitment and investment

“The NT is the only jurisdiction currently on track to close the gap by 2031.

This achievement is in large part, the result of governments working in genuine partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled health services and investing new funds where they are most needed.

This is strong evidence that the significant investment in the NT, especially the investment in Aboriginal primary health care, is working”,

 Ms Donna Ah Chee (pictured above left )the CEO of Congress, NACCHO board member and former CEO of NACCHO

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation welcomed the latest Closing the Gap report card, calling for an emphasis on continued commitment and long-term investment by the Council of Australian Governments to meet meaningful targets in Aboriginal disadvantage.

“Overall there has only been a small improvement across the nation in closing the life expectancy gap for Aboriginal people. However, looking at averages across the nation does not tell the story of significant improvement in Aboriginal life expectancy rates in the Northern Territory. The NT is the only jurisdiction currently on track to close the gap by 2031. This achievement is in large part, the result of governments working in genuine partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled health services and investing new funds where they are most needed. This is strong evidence that the significant investment in the NT, especially the investment in Aboriginal primary health care, is working”, said Ms Donna Ah Chee the CEO of Congress.

“The fact that the nation is on track to achieve its goal to halve the gap in year 12 educational attainment by 2020 is important. Achieving better educational outcomes is largely a precursor to stable, meaningful employment at a reasonable income level. However, the improvement in education is not uniform and a lot more needs to be done in remote communities across the NT.

“Although the addition of a new target on closing the gap in school attendance rates may be useful, Congress is disappointed that the new target was not more directly focused on closing the gap in actual Educational outcomes. Attendance at school is important but it it’s only a means to a successful outcome which is completing year 12 studies and being fully literate and numerate. If children have entered school without the developmental capacity to learn and do well then attendance alone will not be sufficient to address the gap in educational and employment outcomes.

“Congress suggested that the new target could have been to close the gap in the Australian Early Development Index scores of children aged five years, as this is the key to closing the gap in both school attendance and successful educational outcomes. We need a “bottom up” strategy to addressing school attendance which ensures our kids enter school capable and ready so that school is where they want to be not where they have to be.

“Congress also welcomed the improvement in Aboriginal child mortality rates.

“It is a concern that there has been no progress on some targets, especially the employment target, but there is a wide ranging review currently underway on this issue which will hopefully lead to some useful new approaches. In the meantime, it is vital that all Australian governments, through COAG, recommit to the long term cooperation and  investment that is clearly working though the Closing the Gap National Partnership Agreements”, said Ms Ah Chee.

For more information, contact Emily MacKenzie, Communications Officer, on 8953 7814 or by email at emily.mackenzie@caac.org.au.