Cis Report Doesn't Close The Accountability Gap

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3rd December 2009, 06:09pm - Views: 1066

Culture Indigenous National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation 1 image

Media Release


CIS report doesn’t Close the Accountability Gap 

Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Mr Justin

Mohamed says that despite the wild accusations through out the Centre for Independent Studies’

report: Closing the Accountability Gap: The First Step Towards Better Indigenous Health that its

conclusion supports Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services. 

The report (p 22) concludes that:

Rather than the government deciding what health programs to fund, communities (or regional

areas) in conjunction with health professions should be responsible for determining health


Mr Mohamed said “Communities setting health priorities is exactly what Aboriginal Community

Controlled Health Services are all about”.

“However the report’s slur that Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are unaccountable is


“In addition to reporting to their community boards of management and their membership, our services

report at least twice a year to funding bodies such as the Federal Health Department and State and

Territory governments and are externally audited on finances and governance, by financial auditing


“The burden of 42 funding sources the report refers to for one service is an issue affecting a number of

our member services and is something that NACCHO is continually raising with Government by calling

for new ways to streamline reporting and funding.*

“Despite Aboriginal peoples making up almost three percent of the population, with three times the

burden of disease only 0.8% of global federal health expenditure goes to the Federal Health

Department’s Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and of that Aboriginal Community

Controlled Health Services receive an even smaller proportion” Mr Mohamed said. 

“The funding boost for Aboriginal health has only peaked in the last year with only a limited amount of

this new funding reaching Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services or having time to affect

measurable health outcomes. 

“The small funding increases seen from 1997 to 2007 have resulted in substantial increases in

episodes of care delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and increases to the

Aboriginal workforce throughout Australia.

“NACCHO has repeatedly called for Governments to be more accountable for the unilateral funding

decisions they make affecting Aboriginal people. 

“However, much of the new COAG money is being diverted to mainstream services, and, it is time

these bodies receiving money targeted for Aboriginal health are held to the same level of

accountability as the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector. 

“The Australian General Practice Network, their Divisions of GPs and mainstream, for profit, general

practices are being targeted for the COAG ‘Close the Gap’ measures when these services have a very

sparse track record in helping Aboriginal peoples. 

“The gaps in health we are working to overcome is the result of two centuries of mismanagement and

unaccountability by this nation towards Aboriginal people” Mr Mohamed said.

NACCHO Media Contact: Chris Hallett 04 0770 4788

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