Scoring more than $100 million for primary and preventable health care for Durack’s Aboriginal communities, Melissa Price says she is being heard in Canberra, loud and clear.
Ms Price, Federal Member for Durack, recently delivered a frank speech in the Federal Parliament saying health care is absolutely fundamental to closing the gap.
“Although there has been some improvement, it is not enough, and we all know there is much work to be done with Indigenous health outcomes," Ms Price said.
“As I said in Parliament, one is left with a sinking feeling that serious restructuring is required to address the difference between living standards of Aboriginal people and the rest of the community. The reorganisation needs to be transformational and this government has made a good start on the right path,” Ms Price said.
Ms Price announced that eleven organisations in Durack would have their funding extended for three years to ensure they could deliver important health care and treatment in local communities. Locations include the Kimberly, Derby, Ord Valley, Carnarvon, and Geraldton. (see list)
“This funding reaffirms the Government’s commitment to closing the gap and the 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.
“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,” Ms Price said.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations enable the delivery of services including support from multi-disciplinary teams involving nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers and allied health providers and GPs. The funding will be delivered over three years – from 2015-16 to 2017-18 – to ACCHOs to continue delivering essential primary health care to Indigenous communities.
EXTRACT, CLOSING THE GAP STATEMENT MS PRICE, 230215, FEDERAL PARLIAMENT
Ms PRICE (Durack) (19:15): …..Let us take some time to look at the progress against the seven targets as outlined in the recently released Closing the Gap report: closing the gap in life expectancy within a generation, not on track—limited progress and much more to do; halving the gap within a decade in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five, on track for the longer term—some good news there; access for Indigenous four-year-olds in remote communities to early childhood education, not met—however, noting the target is 95 per cent and all jurisdictions have committed to this; closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance within five years—new targets have been set against the 2014 baseline to close school attendance gap by 2019; halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy for Indigenous children, not on track—alarmingly, no overall improvement since 2008 so most unsatisfactory; narrow the gap in year 12 or equivalent attainment, on track and … see the statement here http://melissapricemp.com.au/Newsroom/Videos/ID/356/Statement-Closing-the-Gap-report-230215