Federal government new funding for indigenous health care

Minister Ken Wyatt announced the new funding for remote indigenous health this week, including Doomadgee, Normanton and Mornington Island.
Minister Ken Wyatt announced the new funding for remote indigenous health this week, including Doomadgee, Normanton and Mornington Island.

The federal government has announced new funding for Indigenous health in remote communities.

Canberra will provide more than $3 million in additional annual grant funding to deliver new and expanded residential aged care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote locations including North West Queensland.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the latest round of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) funding would benefit people in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

“This targeted investment aims to help improve the lives of elders living in some of our most remote areas,” Minister Wyatt said.

This targeted investment aims to help improve the lives of elders living in some of our most remote areas

Ken Wyatt

“This includes three additional North Queensland residential aged care services to be funded from January 2018, at Doomadgee, Normanton and Mornington Island.”

Mr Wyatt said that as well as support for the Gulf two existing services would receive extra support to deliver care to older people with complex needs, at Docker River, in the Northern Territory and Fitzroy Crossing, in Western Australia.

“The expanded funding is dedicated to providing responsive, culturally comfortable care, to help ensure people can stay close to their homes and country,” the minister said.

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The new locations will increase the number of NATSIFACP services, mainly in rural and remote locations, to 35. A total of $43.1 million is being provided to expand the NATSIFACP over five years, to meet the increased need for aged care services in remote communities.

In 2015, a new service was established in Central Australia at Mutitjulu, and another aged care service is being established in East Arnhem Land at Nhulunbuy.

Existing services have also been expanded with this funding.

“Aged care funded under the NATSIFACP delivers a mix of residential and home-based services,” Minister Wyatt said.

“A key feature is the services’ capacity to be adapted to meet the changing care needs of their communities.

“We are committed to delivering to all Australians aged care that is flexible, non-discriminatory and culturally responsive.”

More details about the NATSIFACP can be found at: https://agedcare.health.gov.au/programs-services/flexible-care/national-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-flexible-aged-care-program