NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Queensland’s $5 million funding for world-first project aimed at treating and preventing avoidable blindness

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The  $5 million project will provide education, equipment and specialist support to 27 Aboriginal Medical Services in Queensland.

The Queensland Government has paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by providing $5 million in funding for a world-first project aimed at treating and preventing avoidable blindness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Picture above Essendon footballer Paddy Ryder recently promoting World Sight Day

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the project would take specialist services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through a fully-equipped, 60-foot van.

“This project will leave a lasting legacy in tribute to Her Majesty the Queen,” Mr Springborg said.

“Diabetes affects one in three adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland and can have a debilitating impact on the sufferers’ vision.

“However, most blindness caused by diabetes can be prevented, which is why this project is so important.”

Mr Springborg said the project will provide education, equipment and specialist support to 27 Aboriginal Medical Services in Queensland.

“The Newman Government is committed to providing the best health services at the best time and in the best place,” he said.

“A van equipped with state of the art optical equipment will travel to nine regional hubs where local and visiting eye specialists will treat patients.

“The project will provide a comprehensive screening program to identify at risk clients and screen for diabetic eye disease.

“All 27 centres will be equipped with telehealth conferencing to allow consultations with specialists at Princess Alexandra Hospital and the van also features on board telehealth facilities

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Queensland corporate donates to Closing the Gap

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It is with this knowledge that QAIHC welcomes the involvement of a large corporate entity such as QGC in helping to address the national health priority of ‘closing the gap’ by improving access to services in rural areas for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” Mr Selwyn Button CEO QAIHC

Background

Today marks the launch of the Central Queensland Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisation (CQ RAICCHO) mobile Health Clinic in Gladstone, funded by the Queensland Gas Company (QGC).

CQ RAICCHO, a Regional Member Organisation of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), will manage this brand new Community-Controlled mobile health facility.

Selwyn Button, CEO, QAIHC has today welcomed the launch of the mobile health clinic, and praised the involvement of QGC.

“QAIHC and Queensland Gas Company have been working in partnership to establish a mobile health Clinic to operate across Central Queensland and Wide Bay,” Mr Button said.

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Amongst the visitors were Campbell Newman Premier Queensland, Deputy Chairman of NACCHO Matthew Cooke, Lawrence Springborg Health Minister and Selwyn Button CEO QAIHC

“Through this partnership, QGC has generously provided $425,000 to support the building, as well as the fit out of the mobile clinic, and for a vehicle to move the mobile clinic between various locations.

“Free Spirit, a Queensland company based in Caloundra has built the mobile clinic to an exceptionally high standard.

“Chronic disease and preventable illness account for approximately seventy per cent of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

“It is with this knowledge that QAIHC welcomes the involvement of a large corporate entity such as QGC in helping to address the national health priority of ‘closing the gap’ by improving access to services in rural areas for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” Mr Button stated.

“The availability of a mobile medical clinic will go a long way to addressing the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who encounter a range of barriers and obstacles affecting access to primary health care, allied health and other specialist services.

“The mobile clinic will be based out of Gladstone and service three alternate routes primarily in and around the QGC operating areas,” Mr Button said.

“The services will be accessible to all Indigenous people living within the scope of each route, and ongoing referral mechanisms will be established with local Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations.

“The cooperative team effort between QGC and QAIHC demonstrates the commitment of both organisations to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland, and provides a working example of a private and non-government sector partnership to address priority health inequities as identified in the Qld Government Blueprint for Health.” Mr Button stated.

The regional focus of the CQRAICCHO includes a commitment to:

 Building sustainable programs and services for health care, disease control, aged care, mental health, and social and emotional well-being for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities in Central Queensland

 Expanding the delivery of comprehensive primary health care by member organisations to under-serviced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities in Central Queensland

 Developing, implementing and evaluating new delivery models of comprehensive primary health care treatment, prevention and early intervention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities in Central Queensland.

Media Enquiries: Judi Jabour, Campaign Capital, 0412 402 946

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