Territory Stories

Wangkanyi pulka



Wangkanyi pulka

Other title

Lowitja Institute


Wangkanyi pulka; E-Journals; PublicationNT




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Aboriginal Australians -- Health and hygiene -- Periodicals; Aboriginal Australians -- Research -- Periodicals

Publisher name

Lowitja Institute

Place of publication

Carlton South


iss. 4

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21Wangka Pulka ISSUE FOUR / AUGUST 2011 Survey shows health a top priority for National Congress The National Congress of Australias First Peoples has released the results of its first survey on policy priorities from its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander membership. More than half of respondents 55 per cent chose health, education and sovereignty as their top priority policy areas. In health, mental health and emotional wellbeing were highlighted as priorities by 42 per cent of respondents while 21 per cent said access to health care was another area that needed urgent attention. Education concerns focused on early childhood education and transition to work from school. Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution was seen as a top priority to address sovereignty issues (nominated by 88 per cent of respondents), along with constitutional protection of Indigenous rights (77 per cent) and constitutional protection against racial discrimination (58 per cent). To download the full report on the survey results go to www. nationalcongress.com.au. Gillard seals national health reforms as Medicare Locals, telehealth begin The Gillard Government has finally signed off on a national health reform agreement with all States and Territories including Western Australia, which had refused to sign up to the original proposal put forward by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010. The deal, which was reached on 2 August 2011, will see the Federal Government invest an extra $19.8 billion in public hospitals through to 201920 in return for greater federal oversight of the hospital system and new benchmarking arrangements including set targets for emergency waiting times and elective surgery. Under the deal, the Commonwealth, States and Territories will share future funding growth for hospitals in an equal partnership and there will be no requirement for the States or Territories to give up any of their GST revenue. To improve the transparency of public hospital funding a single National Health Funding Pool will be established, which will ensure that all hospitals are funded under the same arrangements. The new investments in hospitals are being supported by significant Commonwealth investments in primary health care (PHC) services including after hours services, new GP training places, and new GP Super Clinics to take pressure off public hospitals. A network of Medicare Locals will also support the delivery of better integrated GP and PHC services; the first 19 Medicare Locals began operating on 1 July 2011, with all Medicare Locals to be up and running from July 2012. Incentives for telehealth videoconferencing for patients in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas also became available from 1 July, in order to provide more equitable access to health specialists. The measure will allow such patients over half of Australias population to attend consultations with distant specialists via video-conferencing from the convenience of their local GP clinic or other local health care facilities. The incentives include $620 million in Medicare rebates, a $6000 bonus payment for health practitioners when they use the new technology to provide a consultation for the first time, and $20 every time a telehealth service is bulk-billed in the first year. For more information on the national health reforms go to www.yourhealth.gov.au.

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