Aboriginal health ‘misses out’ on health ‘boost’

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Learning experience: State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings at Willum Warrain, Hastings with Aboriginal women’s cultural program officer Nola White and executive officer men’s business, Peter Aldenhoven. Picture: Supplied

THE First peoples’ Health and Wellbeing organisation says Aboriginals in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula have been left out of the federal government’s “commitment to improving the health of all Australians”.

The health service’s CEO Karinda Taylor said that despite the area having 6000 Aboriginals, it was “one of the only regions in the country where the local Aboriginal health service did not receive any investment under [Flinders MP and Health Minister] Greg Hunt’s recently announced $90 million boost for Aboriginal health services”.

First peoples’ Health and Wellbeing earlier this year opened a clinic in Station Street, Frankston to provide “culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care”.

“This is heartbreaking. Since we opened, we have been booked out and desperately need even a small amount of funding to be able to continue to provide the comprehensive health care that the community in this area need and deserve,” Ms Taylor said.

The claims of being overlooked by the federal government coincided with a visit by the Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings to the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association in Pound Road, Hastings on Wednesday 4 December.

Mr Jennings met children and families at the bush play group, toured the gathering place, sampled bush tucker and learned about the Aboriginal community’s work at Willum Warrain.

Mr Hunt’s office did not respond when asked for comment by The News about Ms Taylor’s statement.

First published in the Western Port Times – 11 December 2019

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