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Forty-one new health positions have been created across Australia as part of the Government's $805.5 million Indigenous chronic disease package.
The new positions include outreach workers, practice managers and health professionals to be based in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said, ‘The new positions build on the work of 127 outreach workers already funded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and Divisions of General Practice across Australia, as well as funding for front-line staff in Aboriginal community-controlled health services.'
Mr Snowdon said outreach workers already funded under the Indigenous chronic disease package are making a real difference on the ground.
‘The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Brisbane has employed four outreach workers working across its four clinics, establishing vital connections with the community and building partnerships with organisations across metropolitan Brisbane, such as schools and the Murri Court.
‘Over the past 12 months, the outreach workers have contributed to the health service completing more than 1,300 health checks, with more than 2,000 new patients visiting the clinics and a nearly threefold increase in the number of management plans developed for patients with a chronic disease,' he said.
‘These workers have been essential in promoting health checks and getting the message out there about how important it is for people to manage their health.'
Outreach workers will have access to nationally-accredited basic level training through vocational education and training.
‘This will enable them to develop career paths in health, if they choose, by undertaking more advanced training, such as that for Aboriginal Health Workers or enrolled nurses,' he said.