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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

New Queensland health service to help 'close the gap'

A recently opened facility in Longreach, Central West Queensland, is aiming to make a big difference in improving residents' health outcomes, and assist in 'closing the gap' in Indigenous health.

The Iningai Health Arcade has officially opened and includes the community's first bulk-billing doctors' clinic, as well as consultation rooms.

David Rimmer from the Central West Hospital and Health Service says improved coordination should help to 'close the gap' in health outcomes between city and country people. 'The health outcomes for the central west are about 30 % worse than the Australian averages and that is a very big difference,' he said. 'It's the coordination and putting the bodies on the ground, so the first thing we have done is to provide doctors to do that work and now we are providing a safe environment.'

The arcade has been named after the region's traditional owners and there has been consultation with Indigenous groups about how they wanted services to be delivered. The arcade features artwork painted by Indigenous people from across the central west, including Lyndall Monaghan, an artist from the Simpson Desert region. Monaghan says the arcade features a Rainbow Serpent and different interpretations of what good health means for Indigenous people. 'It is something that we can call our own but also share with everyone else,' she said.

Dr Rimmer says it has been a significant investment. 'I think it will make an enormous difference for both the Indigenous people but also for the whole community.'

Source: ABC News

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Last updated: 31 March 2014
 
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