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A new healthcare centre on Palm Island, off the coast of Townsville in Queensland, is home to four Indigenous doctors providing primary healthcare services to the local community.
The Palm Island Children and Family centre was established by Dr Raymond Blackman with his colleague Dr Vicki Stonehouse. A key focus of the centre is to encourage a variety of health professionals to work in Indigenous health and to work on Palm Island.
Dr Blackman said that until now, tertiary hospital system medical care had been all that was available to the community. 'We have GP skills, an interest and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and in our clinic we have the necessary support structures to enable better outcomes on Palm Island and this needs to be replicated throughout the country,' he said.
Dr Blackman was recognised for his work last week when he won the 2014 Wakapi Anyiku Doctor Oomparani award (Aboriginal doctor for everybody). The award was announced by Indigenous General Practice Registrar Network (IGPRN) Chair Dr Aleeta Fejo, who applauded the team for their leadership and commitment to improving the health of Indigenous people. 'The new centre on Palm Island is for everybody within the community but its real strength and focus is in its significant impact providing culturally appropriate primary health care for Indigenous families,' she said.
Source: NACCHO Communique