Senator the Hon Fiona Nash
Assistant Minister for Health
Senator for New South Wales
Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Senate
The Hon. Bess Price MLA
Minister for Housing
29 July 2015
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote Central Australia are being further supported to access dialysis services.
The Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, today announced that the Australian Government will provide $10 million over three years to the Northern Territory Government to develop accommodation in Tennant Creek and Alice Springs for end stage renal patients who need to relocate to access treatment.
“Renal infrastructure, including accommodation for patients and members of their family, is important to ensure patients have access to dialysis and renal support services and the Australian Government will continue working with the Northern Territory Government to meet this critical need,” Minister Nash said.
Minister Nash said it was not good enough that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote Central Australia experience end stage renal disease at a rate 18 to 20 times higher than that of the wider Australian population. Also, they are on average at least 20 years younger than in other areas.
“We must support people who already have renal disease, but also focus on prevention and effective management of chronic disease,” she said.
“This new funding will assist improved access to renal infrastructure in the remote communities of Docker River, Papunya and Mt Leibig, allowing patients who are able to remain in their communities.
“While the Northern Territory Government has responsibility for the delivery of dialysis and renal services, the Commonwealth is contributing infrastructure funding to support patients to have access to the renal care they require, where it is needed,” Minister Nash said.
Northern Territory Minister for Housing, Bess Price MLA, has welcomed the additional funding for central Northern Territory residents.
“This announcement is fantastic news for Central Australian Indigenous renal patients and their families as it will ensure increased access to housing and renal infrastructure closer to home,” Mrs Price said.
“There is a high level of need for these services in Central Australia and this funding will provide much needed support for patients to access appropriate housing, daily treatment and clinical support.
“As part of the funding, community housing will be provided in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek for Indigenous renal patients and their families or carers, who are required to relocate from remote communities of Central Australia, to access treatment for end-stage kidney disease.
“This project will also deliver two renal clinics – one each in Kaltukatjara and Papunya, and upgrades to the health clinic at Mt Liebig, allowing people to receive treatment in their own communities.
“We have listened to the needs of the people living remotely and I am proud to be supporting better services for the bush.”
The new funding announced today compliments the Australian Government’s commitment of $1.4 billion over three years to continue the delivery of primary health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Kay McNiece, Minister Nash’s Office: 0412 132 585
Lauren Crawley, Minister Price’s office, 0417 145 050