Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson has announced improved access to culturally safe primary health care, with two remote health clinics transitioning to Aboriginal community control.
Funded through the State-Commonwealth Health Innovation Fund and the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS), the transfer of management from WA Country Health Service to KAMS will see Lombadina/Djarindjin and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) health clinics align with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
The move is part of an eventual aim to establish an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) to manage the services. Established in 1986, KAMS already supports eight independent ACCHOs in the Kimberley.
The transition of the health clinics is community-led and designed to improve access to culturally safe primary health care services to around 735 people living in the Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon communities – which are accessed via Cape Leveque Road, about 220 kilometres north of Broome.
Moving these remote health clinics to community control will also meet requirements set by the WA Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Framework 2015-2030 and Recommendation 3a of the Sustainable Health Review’s final report.
As stated by Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The McGowan Government is committed to improving outcomes for Aboriginal people.
“Studies show that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in control of the decisions that affect their lives, they have better health and wellbeing.
“We are working to build a strong and sustainable community-controlled sector to deliver high-quality services to meet the needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“I’d like to acknowledge the work of Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service staff in driving this project and working closely with the WA Country Health Service to make sure we’re doing all we can to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people.”
As stated by Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services CEO Vicki O’Donnell:
“The transition of the health clinics to an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation is an important step towards Closing the Gap and it reflects the strong partnership between KAMS, the community and the State Government.”