FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said Indigenous communities in Inverell and Walhallow will benefit from a $5,192,704 investment in primary and preventable health care as part of the Abbott Government’s ongoing commitment to closing the gap.
Mr Joyce said Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Inc. and Walhallow Aboriginal Corporation Inc. would have their funding extended for another three years to ensure they could deliver important health care and treatment in local communities.
“Although there has been improvement, we all know there is much work to be done with Indigenous health outcomes," Mr Joyce said.
“This funding reaffirms the Abbott Government’s commitment to closing the gap and to meeting the Government’s priorities of getting Indigenous Australians into work, ensuring children go to school and making communities safer.
“Overall this Government is investing $3.1 billion over the next four financial years on Indigenous health, an increase of over $500 million when compared with the previous four years.”
The target to halve the gap in mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children does look achievable by 2018. However the target to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation is not on track to be met.
Mr Joyce said the Armajun and Walhallow services are two of 112 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations across Australia that will share in $1.4 billion.
“The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations play a unique and vital role in our efforts to close the gap in health outcomes through working with communities to improve access for Indigenous families to primary or preventative health care,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are committed to making long-term improvements in Indigenous health through continuing to support families and communities to improve their health and wellbeing.”
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations enable the delivery of culturally appropriate services including support from multi-disciplinary teams involving nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers and allied health providers as well as General Practitioners.
The funding will be delivered over three years – from 2015-16 to 2017-18 – to the organisations to continue delivering essential primary health care to Indigenous communities.