Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan launches

A plan to strengthen and grow the Aboriginal health workforce in regional areas has been released, as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s Rural Health Workforce Strategy.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan aims to help ensure we attract, recruit and strengthen the regional Aboriginal health workforce, while continuing to deliver world-class care in the regions.

“Growing the Aboriginal health workforce in rural South Australia is vital for delivering culturally responsive health services and improving the health and wellbeing of our Aboriginal communities,” said Minister Wade.

“The development of the plan has involved extensive consultation with the Aboriginal workforce, consumers and communities and the non-Aboriginal workforce from all disciplines, with a focus on providing services that are culturally safe and respectful.

“The plan is a fantastic way to bolster South Australia’s regional health resources and to further support the local community and strengthen their health services.”

Rural Health Workforce Strategy Aboriginal Health Working Group Chair, Sharon Perkins, said the plan aims to utilise the important skills and cultural expertise of Aboriginal people in providing health services to regional South Australian communities.

“Initiatives outlined in the plan include providing additional training opportunities, identifying fresh ways to recruit Aboriginal health workers, and increasing Aboriginal representation throughout all professions and levels of health services,” said Ms Perkins.

“Our priority throughout the process of planning is to ensure the voices of Aboriginal people are heard, helping us to deliver a plan that is tailored to meet the needs of the community on an ongoing basis.”

Rural Support Service Chief Clinical Advisor, Dr Hendrika Meyer, said the strategies can help ensure a strengthened and sustainable Aboriginal health workforce is available in regional South Australia.

“More than 17,000 Aboriginal people live across our six regional Local Health Networks, meaning it is important we increase the capacity and capability of the Aboriginal health workforce in both hospital and community settings,” said Dr Meyer.

Further details on the Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan can be found at sahealth.sa.gov.au

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