THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
6 April 2011
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, has announced the Australian Government will provide $150,000 to fund a strategic position for an Indigenous Health Council in the Gulf region of Queensland.
Mr Snowdon is visiting the Gulf communities of Mornington Island and Normanton and the Torres Strait Islands of Thursday Island and Badu Island.
The funding will be provided to Yippippi Gulf Indigenous Health Council – which has members from Normanton, Burketown, Doomadgee, Bidunggu (Gregory Downs), Mornington Island and Gurridi (Old Doomadgee).
Mr Snowdon said the position will assist Yippippi to engage strategically with health services and the broader community.
“The funding will enable the organisation to lead and support engagement with key stakeholders in relation to health,” Mr Snowdon said.
Mr Snowdon said expanding the health care workforce in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander regions is an important part of the Australian Government’s commitment to Close The Gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
“By expanding this region’s workforce we can support the focus on some of the biggest contributors to excess mortality such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases, with smoking alone accounting for around 20 per cent of all Indigenous deaths.”
This financial year also, around $18.5 million in funding has been provided for a broad range of health services in the Gulf region, including:
- $10 million per year for primary health care services
- $3.5 million per year for drug and alcohol and social and emotional wellbeing services
- $3.5 million for aged care services.
Mr Snowdon said the Government is conscious of the unique service delivery challenges faced in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area, including health issues relating to treating Papua New Guinea nationals in the Torres Strait Treaty Zone.
“At present the Australian Government is contributing around $13.5 million per annum to support vital health and aged care services in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.
“A further $16.8 million is being provided for infrastructure projects to address critical needs for clinic upgrades and additional staff accommodation,” he said.
For more information, contact Mr Snowdon’s office (02) 6277 7820