Aboriginal Medical Centre set to close leaving 11,000 patients at risk

Aboriginal Medical Centre set to close leaving 11,000 patients at risk

The Aboriginal medical service in Mt Druitt is set to close, having been given notice by the Federal Government that all funding is due to be cut.

Sydney’s Western Suburbs have the highest Aboriginal population density in Australia, with the Medical Centre currently serving 11,000 of these people, with a total of 22 00 on their books.

The centre provides everything for the community, from regular GP check-ups, to pre-natal support,counselling for mental health, and methadone treatment for drug users.

The Federal Government has said the 11 000 patients will all be transferred to non-Aboriginal mainstream services as quickly as possible. This will serve a number of them well, however the majority of patient’s health is at risk, because they don’t trust these service providers, and would prefer not to go at all.

Rev Ivan Roberts represents the UAICC in NSW and ACT. In a written submission to the Minister of Health  he points out that “The health needs of Aboriginal people and communities require special skills and knowledge and this service, established over 28 years ago, knows intimately the health, social and emotional wellbeing issues of their local community. They are the best placed customer based service providers to address these issues. The Medical Service has worked hard to establish collaborative relationships with all the health practitioners and health providers in the region to ensure all Aboriginal people in their community receive the best quality health service they desperately need. It would be tragic if the expertise and cumulative experience of the Service team of 96 staff was disbanded and lost.”

You can sign the petition against the closure of the medical centre at https://www.amsws.org.au/, and Rev. Ivan Roberts encourages you to write your own submission to the Federal Minister for Health.

Read more about this story here.

Grace Liley

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