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Supporting wellness in the bush

  • Year: 2007
  • Author: Perino, Jennifer
  • Journal Name: 9th National Rural Health Conference
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance
  • Published Location: Deakin West, ACT
  • Country: Australia

In Australia access to health services is influenced by various factors, including geography, availability of expertise, and a range of cultural, social and economic factors. This paper describes the establishment of Bila Muuji, a network of autonomous Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the Bourke-Walgett region that work together to overcome some of these obstacles by consolidating service delivery to their clients. The regional team model of the Bila Muuji partnership is based on need and the sharing and maximising of resources to encourage equity, effectiveness and efficiency. The paper discusses the challenges faced by health services in remote areas and how the Bila Muuji initiative has addressed them, particularly the issue of recruitment and retention of health workers. It describes the development of a regional Social Emotional Well Being team to provide health services to Indigenous people. The team employs Aboriginal health workers in sexual health, alcohol and other drugs, mental health, and 'Bringing them Home' positions.

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