THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Lingiari
12 December 2011
The Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, has welcomed the launch of the Purple Truck, ensuring about 100 people with renal disease from the Western Desert communities near Alice Springs, will be able to have dialysis in or near their homes.
The Purple Truck is a $360,000 mobile renal dialysis unit paid for by Medicines Australia.
It will mean that Aboriginal patients living in remote communities can undergo dialysis treatment without having to travel hundreds of kilometres, often several times a week.
Mr Snowdon said the Purple Truck can now hit the road and get into the Western Desert to provide this important, local service, improving the health and overall wellbeing of Aboriginal people in need of dialysis.
“I would like to congratulate and thank Medicines Australia for donating $1 million to the Jimmy Little Foundation, $360,000 of which went to purchase and fit out the Purple Truck.”
“Dialysis services will be provided in the desert communities by professional staff from the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaka Aboriginal Corporation (WDNWPT).”
“The work of WDNWPT is an excellent example of what a community organisation can achieve in partnership with the Government and Medicines Australia as a donor in the private sector,” Mr Snowdon said.
“It will bring huge benefits to the Pintupi, Warlpiri and Western Arrente communities — helping hold their families together and bringing much-needed treatment and relief to their loved ones.”
The Gillard Labor Government is delivering an additional $13 million dollars to the Northern Territory Government for the construction of two family-centric renal accommodation facilities for Aboriginal patients, one in Alice Springs and another in Tennant Creek.
“These facilities will be able to accommodate eight renal patients and 32 family members or carers in hotel style, long stay accommodation, while patients receive treatment.”
The funding will be delivered over three years, with construction due to begin mid-2012.
The work of the Purple Truck in the desert communities and Australian Government’s investment in renal patient accommodation will complement investments already made by this Government to support renal services across the Northern Territory.
Since 2006-07 the Government has provided more than $15 million to the NT for renal infrastructure and service improvements as part of its election commitment to provide a $21 million health boost to the Territory.
Media contact: (Minister Snowdon) Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820