Local Decision Making: Maningrida Morgue Handed to Community

Maningrida celebrates another primary health service milestone this week with the ownership of the local morgue being transferred to community control.

Nearly $800,000 was spent on the Morgue in 2018 to better accommodate the needs of one of the Northern Territory’s larger communities and has been managed by Top End Health Services to date.

The morgue is one of five health programs that have transferred to community control since October 2019, with the Territory Labor Government committed to increased Aboriginal community control as part of the Local Decision Making initiative.

Additional health services are set to be transferred to the community later this year, with the entirety of the services including the Health Centre itself set to be transferred to community control in 2021.

NT Health who oversee the handing over of health services to communities has been working closely with the Mala’la Health Board to ensure the transition of services, including the morgue, occurs at an appropriate pace.

Maningrida Health Centre is one of the Northern Territory’s busiest remote health centres, undertaking over 4,000 consultations per month.

As stated by the Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:

“The Territory Labor Government is proud to be handing over the Maningrida Morgue to the community, increasing the number of community controlled health services in Maningrida to five.

“Having a culturally and climatically appropriate morgue under Aboriginal control in a community the size of Maningrida is a significant moment for the Mala’la Health Services and the people of Maningrida.

“Morgues are incredibly important in our remote communities, as they allow for grieving and burial on traditional land.”

As stated by the Member for Arafura, Lawrence Costa:

“It is important for our bush communities to have community control of our primary health services.

“The Territory Labor Government has been committed to this through the Local Decision Making mandate. It is a great step forward for five services including the Maningrida morgue to be operated by locals.

“The community wants and needs to be able to manage their own when they pass, and having local ownership of the morgue allows them to do that”.

As stated by Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation CEO, Ray Matthews:

“I would like to thank the Minister for her support in enabling the morgue to be transferred to community control.

“This is a positive initiative for the Maningrida community and will ensure that cultural aspects will be factored into the sensitivity associated with the running of the morgue.”

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