Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) is the peak body representing 20 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across WA at the State and National level: 19 of the 20 services are located outside of the Perth Metropolitan area (see map attached).
AHCWA is here to:
- Act as a forum for the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health care and related services throughout Western Australia
- Develop networks with the relevant federal and state government bodies and community organisations
- Provide research, policy development, strategic planning and advice on relevant Aboriginal health and related issues to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector
- Advocate with government and other health service providers about the health needs of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia
- Disseminate relevant information concerning the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people
- Implement programs that promotes and improves the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities
There are about 76,000 Aboriginal people in Western Australia. Of these, about 47,000 (62%) reside outside of the Perth metropolitan area. Aboriginal people in Western Australia represent 3.4% of the total WA population, however, Aboriginal people account for 9% of the regional population. AHCWA supports its 20 member services (Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services) in the delivery of primary health care to Aboriginal clients as well as other populations, especially in rural and remote areas.
Western Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS’s) provide services to over 50,000 registered Aboriginal clients and 10,000 non-Aboriginal clients. Over 200,000 clinic appointments and 400,000 occasions of service are delivered annually through the clinics. ACCHS’s clinics and centres provide training for health care workers, clinic experience for nurses and registrar training for doctors.
The rate of potentially avoidable deaths among the Aboriginal population in 2006 was 830 per 100,000, more than five times the figure recorded for the total State population. Over one in 10 hospitalisations in the Aboriginal population in Western Australia have the potential to be prevented based on current preventative measures and primary health care services. Effective primary health care requires a coordinated approach throughout the regions. Supporting AHCWA to lead its member services to improve primary health care services for the Aboriginal population in regional areas has the potential to realise profound health and economic benefits for the regions.
Epidemiology Branch, System Policy and Planning Division, Department of Health WA (2011).
Evaluation Paper on AHCWA, Oxfam Australia (2011).
The Western Australian Chief Health Officer’s Report 2010. Perth: Department of Health WA.
AHCWA website http://www.ahcwa.org.au/ 2014.