To support the Commonwealth’s first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, the Morrison Government is investing over $300 million in health infrastructure and support to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can access health services, when and where they need them.
As part of our $1 billion investment in new Closing the Gap measures, we’re investing $254.4 million in infrastructure to better support the critical work of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), which have been a significant part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
ACCHOs are operated by and for Aboriginal communities, delivering comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care services, including administering COVID-19 vaccines across rural and remote Australia.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said the Government was committed to improving health services for Indigenous Australians, their families and their communities.
“ACCHOs continue to play an important role in providing health support for Aboriginal communities, including during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Hunt said.
“This additional funding will enable ACCHOs to improve their facilities and maintain the high level of care they offer their communities.”
The Government is also investing $45 million to ensure the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, through the Healthy Mums and Healthy Bubs program. This funding is in addition to the $82 million for the Connected Beginnings Program, which includes funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP said the program promotes healthy outcomes and healthy lifestyle choices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their babies.
“This will provide mothers with improved access to health care, including access to antenatal care from their health providers and provide support until the baby is one year old,” Minister Wyatt said.
“These programs complement and build on the Government’s investment of more than
$781.1 million in the 2021-22 Budget to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and ageing outcomes.”
The Closing the Gap Implementation Plan sets a foundation for the Commonwealth’s efforts over the next decade in achieving the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, signed by all Australian governments in July 2020.
This whole-of-government Closing the Gap Implementation Plan was developed by Ministers, departments and agencies across the Commonwealth with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, in particular the Coalition of Peaks.