Reform impacts on Aboriginal community controlled health

18 February 2011

Reform impacts on Aboriginal community controlled health
The impacts of implementing recommendations made by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission –
including Medicare Locals and Local Hospital Networks – are destined to play a crucial role in advancing the
Aboriginal health reform agenda.
Next month in Perth the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) will present an
Aboriginal Health Showcase to ensure health professionals and consumers are fully informed of the latest
developments. The event is part of a pre-conference program ahead of the 11th biennial National Rural Health
Conference to be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 13-16 March.
The NACCHO showcase, which will start at 11am on Sunday, 13 March, runs until 3pm. The objective is to provide
health professionals with an Aboriginal community controlled perspective across the States and Territories, while
also examining best practice governance models in health.
“Our 150 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across the country are affected by the shortage of
professional health staff,” said NACCHO Chair, Justin Mohamed. “Our services are suffering, with the recruitment
and retention of staff and providing adequate facilities being especially difficult.
“NACCHO believes that Aboriginal people having more control over the design and delivery of Australia’s health
services will make lasting gains in helping to close the existing health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
peoples.’’
Gordon Gregory, Executive Director of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) which is organising the Perth
conference, joined NACCHO in calling for more health resources to be put into the areas of greatest need –
including the health of Aboriginal people in metropolitan, rural and remote areas.
The NACCHO pre-Conference event will see Vicki O’Donnell and Sue Christopolos provide a Western Australian
perspective on what it will mean to implement NHHRC recommendations. Others to provide regional views
include NT representatives John Paterson and Chips MacKinolty, Andrew and Stephanie Bell from Central
Australia, and Selwyn Button and Sheryl Lawton from the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council.
The $66 fee to attend this important event includes lunch. Seats are available but those interested are urged to
register fast. Go to http://11nrhc.ruralhealth.org.au/pre-conference-meetings for details.