The Morrison government has launched a 10-year plan to increase the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to improve wellbeing outcomes.
The national workforce plan is the first of its kind and seeks to have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people equally represented alongside non-indigenous workers across the health sector by 2031.
The government has committed $53.1 million from 2022/23 to 2025/26 to implement the plan.
It aims to lift the rate of First Nations people working in the health sector from the 1.8 per cent to 3.43 per cent by 2031, better reflecting overall population numbers.
It will mean an unprecedented increase in doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, health workers and health practitioners working across the health system.
“Not only will it expand access to culturally safe care and significantly improve the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it will also increase economic prosperity by having First Nations people in well paid, secure employment,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, said the plan was a strong example of governments working in partnership with the community-controlled sector and communities so that policy and action were designed and delivered by those who best understood the issues.
“Growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce participation across the health sector will help ensure culturally safe, trauma-informed and responsive care is available for families and communities,” Mr Wyatt said.
“It will mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel more comfortable to access health services and experience better outcomes when they do.”
This investment builds on the $159.1 million committed since 2021/22 to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.
* $11.9 million for the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association,
* $12.7 million for the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives
* $18.9 million for Indigenous Allied Health Australia
* $9.3 million for the National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners
* $0.3 million in support for the National Health Leadership Forum
Australian Associated Press