The Albanese Government has brought together health experts to discuss the unique challenges facing the health workforce across the Northern Territory.
The Primary Health Care Workforce Summit is jointly hosted by the Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health Malarndirri McCarthy and Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, who will be joined by key stakeholders from across the Territory on Wednesday 23 August.
They will discuss the specific health workforce challenges in the NT, including staffing shortages which are exacerbated in rural and remote contexts, and by fly-in fly-out arrangements for many medical practitioners. Additionally, the need to ensure culturally appropriate services that meet the needs of communities will be central to the discussion.
Meeting in Alice Springs, the summit will consider ways to address these critical health workforce issues and work with First Nations consumers and experts to co-design methods to attract, recruit and retain a range of professionals, including doctors, nurses, midwives, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and practitioners, and allied health professionals.
The summit will also discuss how to make sure quality health services are equally available to everyone in the Northern Territory, regardless of where they live or their bank balance.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy:
“There are well-known and deep inequities facing regional, rural, remote and First Nations communities across the Northern Territory.
“It’s incredibly important for government to consider how we can address these challenges and support the amazing work of our health practitioners which is what this summit is all about.
“Growing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working across the health system and designing services in genuine partnership with First Nations communities and organisations are central to long-term improvements."
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP:
“I’m in Alice Springs to hear from experts on the ground who are struggling in the face of critical workforce shortages and thank them for coming to the table for this important discussion.
“All Australians deserve equitable access to healthcare – and patients in the Northern Territory should be no exception.
“Our Government is steadfast in our commitment to rebuilding primary care, and integral to that is getting the settings right with a well-supported workforce. I look forward to the conversations today and exploring avenues to address the unique workforce challenges facing the Northern Territory.”