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NT's largest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service assumes operation of clinics in Central Australia

Callan Morse -

The Northern Territory's largest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, has assumed operations of two Central Australian primary health care clinics.

Local primary health care services in Imanpa and Yulara have been transferred to the Congress, after operations were assumed by the provider earlier this month.

Congress already provides care to the Aboriginal community adjacent to Uluru at nearby Mutitjulu, an a as well as other communities throughout Central Australia.

In welcoming the Imanpa and Yulara communities to the model, Central Australia Aboriginal Congress chief executive Donna Ah Chee said the best practice model has many advantages for local First Nations communities.

"Aboriginal community controlled health service delivery is recognised as best practice for Aboriginal health, and the further development of the ACCHS sector is a key part of the Closing the Gap commitments that all governments have signed," Ms Ah Chee said.

"This is because, for every dollar spent there is a greater return in health improvement for our people with this model of health care."

"ACCHSs are better able to provide Aboriginal people with the services that are most needed, when they are most needed and ensure cultural responsiveness, including providing greater Aboriginal employment."

Yulara will become a service hub for the region and in Imanpa, NT health will continue providing breast screen appointments along with other specialist outreach services.

Ms Ah Chee said effective collaboration between local community representatives, NT Health and Congress has made the transition to the new model seamless.

"We are pleased to have worked closely with local community members, and with NT Health, to ensure this transition is smooth and that community voices are heard," she said.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said increasing community involvement in the planning and delivery of local health services through local decision making brings additional benefits to local residents.

"Local Decision Making is the Territory Labor Government's commitment to provide opportunities to transfer government service delivery to Aboriginal people," she said.

"Congress and NT Health have worked in partnership to transition operations to Aboriginal community control in Imanpa in line with community needs and local decision making.

"NT Health will continue to provide support in the community, including visiting specialist services such as paediatrics and BreastScreen NT."

The Kaltukatjara (Docker River) Health Centre will also transition to Central Australian Aboriginal Congress on 1 July, 2023.

Northern Territory Member for Gwoja Chansey Paech said the transition of health clinics such as the Kaltukatjara Health Centre in his electorate will provide improved health service delivery for remote Territory communities.

"We know how important it is to have the very best health care accessible to Territorians, whether they live in the bush, or in the city," he said.

"Congress managing the health clinics will bring greater health outcomes for community members."

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