Certainty in First Nations community healthcare to help close the gap

Department of Health

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) will have certainty to plan for the future, thanks to four-year rolling funding agreements from July 1, 2024, announced by the Albanese Labor Government.

These new arrangements will be supported by a $300 million funding boost which will help services to retain skilled staff and provide continuity of care.

ACCHOs are an integral part of Australia’s health system and support better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Last year, 120 ACCHOs delivered health care to more than 410,000 people in First Nations communities across the country.

With greater funding stability, ACCHOs will have the certainty they need to continue to deliver culturally appropriate health care, tailored to the health needs and priorities of the First Nations communities they serve.

Over the last ten years ACCHOs have had grant funding agreement terms of one to three years. Their future funding was often only advised in the six months prior to their grant expiring. From 1 July 2024 the uncertainty ends.

The reliability of regular funding will ensure ACCHOs can plan their healthcare service delivery to help close the eight-year life expectancy gap between First Nations Australians and non-Indigenous Australians.

This funding is provided under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme which helps deliver comprehensive primary health care to First Nations peoples.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“The Albanese Government is working hard to improve the health of First Nations people.

“We are safeguarding culturally appropriate healthcare for First Nations Australians by investing in our thriving Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

“The new four-year rolling funding will provide Australia’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations with the rock-solid certainty they need to get the job done now and in the future.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Burney:

“We know that communities have the solutions to so many challenges that face us.

“This new funding agreement will give Aboriginal community controlled health organisations the certainty they need to plan for the future, and work towards long term solutions.

“This is part of our commitment to listening to communities and grassroots organisations on how we can make real progress on the things Indigenous Australians want: health, education, jobs, housing and justice.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister, Senator McCarthy:

“This ongoing funding recognises the important role Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations play in Australia’s primary health care system.

“The certainty and stability of four-year funding will help ACCHO’s deliver longer-term ongoing programs that are need to improve health outcomes for our mob.”

Quotes attributable to Dr Dawn Casey, Acting CEO, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO):

“The new rolling funding arrangements, coupled with the Government’s ongoing commitment to expanding the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programmes’ comprehensive primary healthcare funding, provide crucial financial stability for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector.

“We thank the Government for its continued commitment to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. This recognition further reflects the Sector’s longstanding provision of healthcare across diverse settings, from very remote to urban areas.”

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