The peak Aboriginal health body has described the condition of Aboriginal health care as atrocious and called for a substantial increase in funding.
23 Apr 2003 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

Chairman of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (mr) Henry Councillor says the present approach to funding is not needs-based and will not change the situation for the better.

The federal government has today offered ten-billion dollars to the states and territories under a jointly-funded hospital scheme.

Mr Councillor says the offer is an enormous boost to health care, but very little of it will reach Aboriginal people.

"Ten-billion dollars is actually basically going to the states and territories to pump up the public hospitals and the private sector, and the areas they're concentrating on are areas of private hospitals, the aged and the increased expense of pharmaceutical benefits. And very little of that is actually being accessed by Aboriginal people."

The call comes as the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Trish Worth, announced a public awareness campaign to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to get a Medicare card.

Ms Worth says the card is a key to unlock mainstream health services, such as visiting a G-P, using emergency or outpatients services at a public hospital or buying subsidised medications.