The Morrison Government is securing better health outcomes for Indigenous Australians by providing an immediate $54.7 million boost in funding and longer-term rolling agreements for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) throughout Australia.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said that ACCHS form an essential part of the Australian health system, delivering comprehensive primary health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“The ongoing pandemic has once again shown how critical the ACCHS sector is in delivering health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Hunt said.
“The introduction of four-year rolling funding agreements and yearly increases in available funding from 1 July 2023 will ensure greater certainty and stability for the sector.”
Overall, available funding to the ACCHS sector will increase by 3% year on year (including indexation) and once the current funding agreements with ACCHS expire the Australian Government will move to rolling four-year agreements, both from 1 July 2023.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, said the investment under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) will help improve health outcomes across this nation for first Australians.
“This means better access for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to high quality, culturally appropriate health care which we know delivers results,” Minister Wyatt said.
“By moving to rolling four-year agreements and committing to ongoing funding growth we are giving ACCHS greater confidence to employ, plan and grow.”
“Bolstering and supporting the sector is a Government priority and these latest improvements are testament to ongoing collaboration and a shared commitment to Closing the Gap.”
Pat Turner, NACCHO CEO acknowledged that in line with Priority Reform One of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, that Government would partner with NACCHO to co-design the delivery of these initiatives.
“This immediate injection of an additional $54.7 million will support those services under funding pressures to better service their clients’ health needs,” Ms Turner said.
This significant reform further supports the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, which is a central component of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
It also builds on the $781.1 million in the 2021-22 Budget to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and ageing outcomes, the more than $250 million the Morrison Government is investing in Indigenous health infrastructure, and the ongoing funding through the IAHP of more than $4 billion from 2021-22 to 2024-25 to deliver culturally appropriate initiatives to increase access to health care and improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.