• Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Cape York Mayors met to talk about the proposed healthcare change. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Apunipima Cape York Health Council in Queensland, looks set to take control of its own primary healthcare services from July 2017.
Madeline Hayman-Reber

23 Sep 2016 - 11:57 AM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2016 - 11:57 AM

The tiny area of Wujal Aboriginal Shire is home to around 300 people, 143 of those people have a chronic disease.

According to Wujal's Mayor Desmond Tayley, there’s only a small portion of people over the age of 65.

Working together with the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, it was found that being able to take care of their own health services is crucial to improving these statistics for all areas of the Cape.

“We want to look after prevention primary health care progress to deliver culturally appropriate health care in Cape York,” Cr Tayley said.

“In my community we want to have it so that our own people can have input into the health of our community.”

Apunipima Health Council is a community driven primary health care service that works out of five Cape York communities.

Primary healthcare in the Cape is currently run by Queensland Health, but this is about to change. The Health Council along with three mayors met with Queensland Minister for Health, Cameron Dick who committed to transition primary health care services to Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Our children and their families life expectancy is 23 years lower in the Cape than the rest of Queensland,” Apunipima chairman Thomas Hudson said in a statement.

“Our communities need to take control of their own health outcomes – transitioning to community led, community driven, community staffed health service will make a critical difference in helping close the gap.”

Acute health care will remain in control of Queensland Health, and no jobs will be lost in the transition process, in fact Cr Butcher says more will be gained.

“If the transition goes to plan I think there would be economic opportunities for locals and there’s this thing going around that everyone that people will lose employment,” he said.

“That’s not the case. If the plan goes ahead then there will be other opportunities for other areas of expertise..” he said.

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