A Better Future for Indigenous Australians – family centred primary healthcare

More health professionals, new and upgraded buildings, and business management training are among initiatives to provide better access to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities in rural and remote locations.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • Primary health care is critical in overcoming Indigenous health disadvantage.
  • Despite increased spending on Indigenous health services, access to primary health care for many Indigenous Australians remains too low, particularly in rural and remote areas.
  • This measure will support better access to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities in rural and remote areas through funding for:
    • Up to 45 additional health professionals to enhance existing Indigenous health care service delivery, primarily to prevent and manage chronic disease in Indigenous Australian families.
    • New and upgraded buildings and clinics in six rural and remote areas across Australia.
    • Management training for 100 Indigenous health service managers.

Who will benefit?

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals in six rural and remote regions across Australia will benefit from improved access to comprehensive primary health care services.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will benefit from better managed Indigenous health services as a result of training for health service managers.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed new funding of $38.2 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • Since 1996, annual Indigenous health funding has increased by over $270 million - a real increase of more than 170%. This increased funding has been delivered mostly through the Primary Health Care Access Program (PHCAP). Since 2003-04 this program has funded over 200 additional health professionals (general practitioners, nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers) and 220 additional other service and support positions (including other health workers, patient transport drivers, child/youth workers, etc), as well as the associated capital infrastructure, to improve Indigenous access to primary health care across Australia.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • The initiative is ongoing.

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