The federal government has launched a ten-year plan to increase the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers to improve wellness outcomes.
The national workforce plan is the first of its kind and aims to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders equally represented alongside non-Indigenous workers in 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 increase the rate of First Nations people working in the health sector from 1.8% to 3.43% by 2031, which better reflects the entire population.
This will mean an unprecedented increase in the number of doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, health workers and health practitioners working across the health system.
“Not only will this expand access to culturally appropriate care and dramatically improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, it will also increase economic prosperity by enabling First Nations people to work in secure, well-paying jobs,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt.
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 policies and actions were designed and implemented by those who understood the better the problems.
“Growth Aboriginal and the participation of the Torres Strait Islander workforce in the health sector will help ensure that culturally safe, trauma-informed and responsive care is available to families and communities,” said Mr. Wyatt.
“It will mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders feel more comfortable accessing health services and have better outcomes when they do.
This investment is in addition to the $159.1 million committed since 2021-2022 to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers.
* $11.9 million for the Australian Association of Indigenous Physicians,
* $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 of the National Health Leadership Forum