NACCHO welcomes call by @KenWyattMP for more Aboriginal #ACCHO input into #PHN’s Primary Health Networks


”  Primary Health Networks are being encouraged to consider the skills of the National Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation ( NACCHO ) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (ACCHO’s ) groups to assist delivering innovative health programs to Close the Gap in health outcomes.

Broadening the range of member organisations involved in the Primary Health Networks, and ensuring an appropriate range of skills on their boards, would help ensure the specific needs of the diverse groups in our community are considered when commissioning health services.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Press Release 1 March 2017

 ” I applaud the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for commissioning this annual report for the benefit of the entire sector. This Healthy Futures report is an invaluable resource because it provides a comprehensive picture of a point in time.

These report cards allow the sector to track progress, celebrate success, and see where improvements need to be made.

This is critical for the continuous improvement of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector as well as a way to maintain focus  and achieve goals.

We need to acknowledge the great system in place that comprises the network of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and recognise the role you play to build culturally responsive services in the mainstream system.

Our people need to feel culturally safe in the mainstream health system; the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector must continue to play a central role in helping the mainstream services and the sector to be culturally safe “

Photo above : The Hon Ken Wyatt AM,MP :Text from  SPEECH NACCHO MEMBERS CONFERENCE 2016 Launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card 8 December 2016 Melbourne

PHN’S  should ensure all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s, their regional bodies and state peaks are the preferred providers for any targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.

They should also have representation from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s on their Board of Directors, Clinical Councils and Community Advisory Committees.

And they should put into practice the guiding principles developed by NACCHO and PHN’s with the Department of Health Indigenous Health Division.

These simple but critical steps will ensure Primary Health Networks facilitate the best available service, in the most culturally appropriate way, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their region and ultimately have the best chance of improving their health outcomes.”

Matthew Cooke NACCHO Chair Press Release March 2 see below


Pictured above Minister Wyatt signing the Close the Gap Statement of Intent 2008

Ken Wyatt Press Release

“Primary Health Networks across the country are charged with increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care and services to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” he said.

“Improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a key priority for all Primary Health Networks.

“They should consider whether their current member organisations and boards have the appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, experience and capabilities to deliver the best health outcomes and if this could be improved.

“Primary Health Networks have a vital role to play in improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Having a broad skills base is crucial to achieving this goal and I look forward to working with all Primary Health Networks to support the continued delivery of high quality primary health care services to all Australians.”


The peak Aboriginal health organisation today welcomed calls by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, to better integrate the skills and experience of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations into Primary Health Networks.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke, said this was something Aboriginal people had been calling for since the introduction of Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and it was great to see the Minister take it on board.

“The evidence tells us that Aboriginal people respond best to health care provided by Aboriginal people or controlled by the Aboriginal community,” Mr Cooke said.

“Armed with this evidence, Primary Health Networks should be doing everything they can to make sure Aboriginal people are involved in their structures and programs.

“They need to better recognise and acknowledge the experience, history and expertise within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation provided almost 3 million episodes of care to over 340,000 clients over the last 12 months and employ 3,300 Indigenous staff across Australia which makes them the largest single employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation.

Read or Download more facts from

 NACCHO 2016 Healthy Futures report card here


“They should ensure all Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s, their regional bodies and state peaks are the preferred providers for any targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.

“Ken Wyatt is to be commended for his leadership in encouraging PHNs to take a look at their structures and question whether they have the relevant expertise at hand.

“Our services across the country welcome the opportunity to work with the Minister and the PHNs to offer the best of support and primary care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”


NACCHO Aboriginal Community Controlled Health

Our recent Member’s Good News Stories from WA, NSW ,VIC ,SA, QLD, NT

NACCHO Healthy Futures Report Card released: Aboriginal community-controlled health services a model of good practice


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“Aboriginal Community Controlled health services continue to be the best way to provide primary care to Aboriginal people and are making the biggest gains in closing the gap, The report card launched today shows that Aboriginal Community Controlled health services continue to improve in all areas that measure good practise in primary health care.

“This means our services are achieving good health outcomes for the Aboriginal people they serve “


At the launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card today, NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke ( pictured above)


Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations continue to improve on all key performance indicators that measure good practice in primary health care, said the peak Aboriginal health body today.

At the launch of the Healthy Futures Report Card today, NACCHO chairperson Matthew Cooke said the report showed that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services were improving in all 16 key performance indicators.

photo SA


“Aboriginal people have shown time and time again that they prefer community controlled services because of the unique and culturally appropriate environment they provide. Demand for these services is growing at an extremely high rate of 6 per cent per year.

“This shows that we need to continue to invest in this model for primary health care which is proving to be so effective. We welcome Ministers Ley and Nash’s recent recognition of the important work of community controlled health services by guaranteeing government funding for another three years.

“With this increase in demand we are also experiencing a chronic shortage of health workers in many of our services and long waiting lists for special care so funding certainty for our services is essential.”

However, Mr Cooke said that preventative health programs as well as primary health care are needed to close the gap.

“Chronic disease is way out of proportion for Aboriginal people compared with other Australians.

“We also need preventative programs which address risk factors for chronic disease, such as by reducing smoking rates.

“Many of these core preventative programs fall under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy and unfortunately it is not yet clear whether they will be approved.

“We’re urging the Government to urgently provide funding certainty for these essential preventative programs.

NACCHO healthy futures news: Aboriginal kids’ health improves with subsidised fruit and vegetable program


THE health of indigenous children from low-income families improved significantly after a weekly subsidised fruit and vegetable program, new research shows.


The children required less antibiotics and there was a small, but significant increase in their haemoglobin levels, according to the research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia.


Study author Dr Andrew Black said a broader trial was needed to investigate whether it was feasible to have subsidised healthy food programs in Australia.

“The program could be adapted to target low-income families more generally,” Dr Black and his co-authors wrote.

But Dr Black, who is a general practitioner with a NSW Aboriginal health service and a fellow at the University of South Australia, said the proportion of children with iron deficiency and anaemia did not change.

The study involved children from 55 families who were aged under 18 and lived in northern NSW.

Each family was given a weekly box of subsidised fruit and vegetables, valued at $40 and nutritional information and recipes were provided to families.

A separate study published in the same journal found the health and behaviour of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander children in urban areas may be adversely affected by their high-levels of exposure to stressful events.

The study conducted between 2007 and 2010 at a Brisbane indigenous health service found that of 344 indigenous children aged 14 years or under about half had experienced a stressful event in their lives.

There was a strong association between those events and a history of ear and skin infections and parental or carer concerns about the child’s behaviour, the study says.

Eleven per cent of study participants had witnessed domestic violence, while 10 per cent had experienced it personally.

“The risk of not addressing both the causes and the effects of childhood exposure to stressful events is that the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians is unlikely to improve,” the study authors wrote.

NACCHO health report card news: Aboriginal babies’ health improving, but concerns remain over immunisation



Stuart Rintoul article The Australian

ABORIGINAL community health services have called for more frontline spending on doctors and health workers as they released a report card showing improvements in infant birthweights, but continuing concerns around child immunisation, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Data derived from 53 Aboriginal health services that participate in the federal government’s Healthy for Life initiative showed that the average birthweight of indigenous babies rose by 66 grams from 2007-08 to 2010-11 and the proportion with normal birthweight increased from 81.5 per cent to 84.2 per cent.

The number of pregnant women recorded as not smoking or consuming alcohol in the third trimester more than doubled and the number recorded as not using illicit drugs almost tripled, although 51.2 per cent of women smoked, 14.8 per cent drank alcohol and 15.9 per cent used illicit drugs.

The findings closely follow the first publicly released Healthy for Life report, in March, which found that the proportion of expectant mothers who smoked, consumed alcohol and used illicit drugs was lower during third trimester antenatal visits (52.4 per cent, 17.9 per cent, 17.2 per cent) than first trimester visits (55.1 per cent, 25.0 per cent, 23.8 per cent).
The report finds that immunisation of Aboriginal children fell between 2007 and 2011 and is an area requiring “improvement”.

In March, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that only 70 per cent of Aboriginal children aged 12-24 months, 68 per cent of children aged 24-36 months and 56 per cent of children aged 60-72 months were fully immunised.

It found that children aged 12-24 months in very remote areas were far more likely (91 per cent) to be immunised than children in major cities (42 per cent). It found that only 26 per cent of Aboriginal children aged 24-36 months in major cities were fully immunised.

The number of indigenous people with type 2 diabetes who had a GP management plan increased between 2007-08 and 2010-11 by about 50 per cent, from 1492 to 2156, while the number who had blood sugar tests rose from 2797 to 3610. The number of clients with coronary heart disease with a management plan rose from 405 to 750.

Lisa Briggs, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, said the report, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, showed the need for a stronger focus on frontline services.

“When you deliver comprehensive care, particularly to the most vulnerable and those who have the highest burden of disease and disadvantage, you get health gains,” she said.

NACCHO chairman Justin Mohamed said the report showed the importance of health services delivered “by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people”. He said longer-term data showed a 33 per cent decline in overall mortality and a 62 per cent decline in infant mortality from 1991-2010.

The Healthy for Life program focuses on mothers, babies and children; early detection and management of chronic disease; and long-term health outcomes. Indigenous health spending was $4.5 billion in 2010-11, or 3.7 per cent of total health spending.

SNAICC Kids Low Re