NACCHO good news alert: Nine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GPs awarded RACGP Fellowship

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Pictured above : Dr Aleeta Fejo – the first home-grown Northern Territory Aboriginal Fellow of the RACGP and a traditional owner and elder of Larrikia people whose family attended the Academic session to celebrate this personal and community achievement.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is proud to award nine RACGP Fellowships of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent in the past year with four attending the Academic session at GP13 in Darwin.

The RACGP Fellowship is the admission to the specialty of general practice – which for many new Fellows is a career highlight, provides important recognition from the RACGP and peers and represents excellence in general practice.

Associate Professor Brad Murphy, Chair of the RACGP National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health said that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, obtaining their Fellowship is more than a qualification; it is a step towards Closing the Gap for their entire community.

“It is well documented that health in Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities is considerably worse than in urban populations.”

“There are many cultural boundaries that affect the accessibility of healthcare in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and having a dedicated GP that is well-known and trusted within the wider community goes a long way to improving health outcomes.”

“The RACGP’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Fellows have faced the additional pressure of racial adversity in reaching this momentous achievement and should be commended for their dedication to improving the health outcomes for their direct communities and all Australians,” said A/Prof Murphy.

The RACGP Fellows of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent awarded Fellowship of the RACGP at the GP13 Academic session are:

Dr Aleeta Fejo – the first home-grown Northern Territory Aboriginal Fellow of the RACGP and a traditional owner and elder of Larrikia people whose family attended the Academic session to celebrate this personal and community achievement.

Dr Olivia O’Donoghue – the grand-daughter of Aunty Lowitja O’Donoghue and one of the first recipients of the Puggy Hunter Scholarships in 2002.

Dr Tammy Kimpton – the current President of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association.

Dr Katherine Engelke – the 2012 recipient of the RACGP General Practice Registrar of the Year award.

The RACGP is committed to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and will continue to support the pathway of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working towards or in a career in general practice.

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NACCHO workforce news: Indigenous Doctors and Medical Specialists sign historic agreement

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Left to Right, Dr Tammy Kimpton, AIDA President and Professor Kate Leslie, CPMC Chair.

Together, powerful results can be achieved. The measure of success will be the quality of care provided to our people and ultimately, the closing of the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community

AIDA estimates that there are around 175 Indigenous medical graduates and 330 Indigenous medical students. To reach population parity in the medical profession would require over 1000 additional Indigenous doctors immediately

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) and Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) believe that reducing the current gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians will be facilitated by increasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical specialist workforce and by all doctors working in Australia possessing the knowledge and skills to work competently with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Left to Right, Romlie Mokak, AIDA CEO, Professor Kate Leslie, CPMC Chair, Dr Tammy Kimpton, AIDA President and Leslie Apolony, CPMC CEO.

The theme of NAIDOC Week this year is

We Value the Vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. Fifty years after the Yolngu bark petitions were sent to the Federal Parliament, a landmark agreement between the national organisations representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and specialist medical colleges was signed, during NAIDOC week, at the Royal Melbourne Hospital 

 
The Collaboration Agreement will make a contribution to closing the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by training more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical specialists, by improving the ways in which medical specialists work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and by mentoring future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in medicine.

Professor Kate Leslie, Chair of the CPMC and a senior anaesthetist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital said “Australia graduated its first Aboriginal medical graduate 30 years ago, 100 years later than comparable countries such as New Zealand and Canada. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors are significantly under-represented in the medical workforce and all 15 specialist medical college Presidents are absolutely committed to leading the change with our partners AIDA”.

Dr Tammy Kimpton, AIDA President and General Practitioner in NSW, said “this agreement completes the final piece in the continuum of medical education and training. AIDA now has formal partnerships with the national bodies responsible for the education and training of doctors from entry to medical school, through the junior doctor years, into specialty training and fellowship”.

“AIDA estimates that there are around 175 Indigenous medical graduates and 330 Indigenous medical students. To reach population parity in the medical profession would require over 1000 additional Indigenous doctors immediately” said Dr Kimpton.

AIDA CEO, Mr Romlie Mokak said “whilst much has been achieved to date, this formal agreement underpins the need for strong and sustainable partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations”.

“Together, powerful results can be achieved. The measure of success will be the quality of care provided to our people and ultimately, the closing of the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community”.

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