26 September 2023

Health funds to aim at Indigenous need

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The Department of Health has funding of more than $21 million to support the health and wellbeing of First Nations Queenslanders and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Health, Steven Miles said the measures were aimed at combatting the spread of COVID-19 amongst First Nations Queenslanders to ensure the Coronavirus did not adversely impact their communities or amplify existing health inequalities.

“From the moment the virus appeared in Australia we have been working to prevent outbreaks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities where we know it would have a devastating impact,” Mr Miles said.

“We know that First Nations peoples, particular those that are aged 50 and over with one or more chronic health conditions, may experience more severe symptoms of COVID-19.”

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford commended remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders for the work they had done to protect their communities from the spread of the virus.

“I have heard the concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mayors and leaders since the measures came into effect. We know these decisions have raised challenges for the delivery of healthcare and essential wellbeing services,” Mr Crawford said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General, Haylene Grogan (pictured) welcomed the funding allocation.

“I have been talking with community leaders and clinicians right across Queensland, we must do all we can to ensure people stay engaged in healthcare, especially in relation to chronic disease management,” Ms Grogan said.

“These measures are about healthcare in the home, from the home and close to home.”

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