Greater investment needed in Aboriginal community controlled health sector

2 Apr 2014

The AMA welcomes the release of the report, Economic Value of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, which makes the case for reform of the funding for key health programs and services for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

The report was released today by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said the report is a long overdue analysis of the economic benefits of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

“This report contains important findings about the cost-effectiveness of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The report shows that the sector makes a positive contribution to the Australian economy, as well as delivering broader economic and social benefits to the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders who use the services.

“The sector is a major employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including in skilled jobs, and is a major contributor to regional development.

“Evidence shows that engaging in economic life and developing local community capacity are critical to closing the health and life expectancy gap over the long term.

“Given that the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector provides significant health benefits on two fronts, it is clear that adequate investment is needed to secure the future of these important services.

“Reform of funding the sector is needed.

“The AMA believes that an analysis should be conducted to determine needs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health at a regional level. Based on that analysis, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services should be established and appropriately funded in areas of need according to the demand for services.

“Funding differences between jurisdictions should also be reviewed to ensure equitable distribution of resources for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services, again according to need.”

Dr Hambleton said that the AMA has long acknowledged the contribution that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services make to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Our 2011 Report Card on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health detailed how Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services reflect best-practice in comprehensive, culturally appropriate primary health care.

“They now need the appropriate funding and investment to build on the great services they provide.”

 


2 April 2014

Contact:               Kirsty Waterford                02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753