This week, Treasurer Matt Kean, delivered the 2022-23 Budget. The Budget included a commitment of $188.6 million in additional funding over four years to support the delivery of Closing the Gap.
This funding will deliver a suite of 28 new government-wide initiatives, developed through the partnership between the NSW Government and NSW CAPO, of which the AH&MRC is a member. Among these initiatives are:
- $29.6 million for a number of Aboriginal-specific health initiatives including :
- $10.1 million to implement and sustain effective cultural models of mental health and wellbeing care for First Nations people in partnership with the community-controlled sector
- $9.8 million to expand the Building on Aboriginal Communities’ Resilience initiative to a further 12 Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations.
- $32.3 million to drive local decision-making and support the community-controlled sector.
- $47.0 million to support strong data and governance to drive the Government’s partnership approach with First Nations communities.
- $91.1 million to support First Nations languages, culture and survivors of the Stolen Generations and to accelerate the repatriation of First Nations remains.
AH&MRC welcomes the government’s commitment towards empowering First Nations communities. This partnership approach represents a shift in the way that government does business with Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), one which will ensure better outcomes for Aboriginal communities across New South Wales.
AH&MRC Chief Executive and Co-Chair of NSW CAPO, Robert Skeen, commended Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Franklin for their investment and ongoing commitment to the partnership.
“I would like to thank the Premier and Minister Franklin, on behalf of the NSW ACCHO sector and NSW CAPO. I am excited to continue the Closing the Gap Journey together, as equals, and to see these initiatives delivering outcomes for our Aboriginal communities. The real work begins now” Mr Skeen said.
The government has also increased funding for the health sector more broadly through measures including:
- $4.5 billion for the NSW Health workforce to ease pressure on existing health workers and support the delivery of quality health care by recruiting 10,148 full-time equivalent staff to hospitals and health services across the State.
- $2.4 billion over 10 years to increase the regional workforce with strategies to address the future pipeline of healthcare workers.
- $149.5 million to boost patient travel and accommodation assistance by improving access to timely health care and reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients.
While these additional measures are not Aboriginal-specific, it will be critical that the government accounts for the Aboriginal health workforce, Aboriginal community-controlled health services and their communities in their rollout.