AH&MRC Welcomes the 2022-23 Federal Budget
This week, Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered the 2022-23 Federal Budget.
The AH&MRC particularly welcomes the $314 million allocated towards Aboriginal Health, which fulfils the ALP’s election commitments. Notably, only $30 million will be spent in this financial year. The package includes:
- $164.3 million over 4 years to invest in modern health clinics in areas of large and growing Aboriginal communities;
- $14.2 million over 3 years to tackle Rheumatic Heart Disease in high-risk Aboriginal communities;
- $22.5 million over 3 years for a dedicated Birthing on Country Centre of Excellence at Waminda (an AH&MRC Member); and
- $54.3 million over 4 years to deliver up to 500 First Nations traineeships, the lion share of which the AH&MRC would like to see diverted to New South Wales, which accounts for 34 per cent of the national Aboriginal population.
The Government also announced a $143.3 million investment (over 4 years) in rural and regional health. The package includes measures to support primary care services, training, workforce incentives and trials for innovative models of care. The AH&MRC hopes that this funding will have real, on-the ground impacts, for our members in regional New South Wales who have faced persistent workforce shortages, on top of the many challenges of delivering healthcare in remote communities.
An additional $13.0 million (over 4 years) was allocated towards mental health supports for communities impacted by major flooding in New South Wales. This includes $8.5 million for youth mental health services in Ballina and Hawkesbury and $4.4 million for urgent mental health supports for impacted communities. This funding is much needed for the AH&MRC’s members in the Northern Rivers, who have been calling for mental health and infrastructure funding to support their communities to address the ongoing trauma and rebuild.
These are just a few in a large suite of Aboriginal health initiatives. The AH&MRC commends the Federal government for its commitment, however, acknowledges that there is still a long way to go in closing the health gap for our communities.