Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service new provider of Aboriginal health services in western Sydney
07 Feb 2017
Wellington Aboriginal Corporate Health Service (WACHS) has been successful in its bid to provide culturally appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services to western Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains, via a joint tender process led by the Commonwealth, in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.
The Commonwealth funding has been awarded to WACHS under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program for western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains for 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The NSW Ministry of Health is also providing funding for the provision of culturally safe services for Aboriginal people including population health, chronic care, mental health and drug and alcohol.
Under this arrangement, WACHS will formally take on these services from April 1, 2017.
“We are very pleased to have formally signed off on the funding agreement, following negotiations with the Commonwealth and state governments,” said WACHS CEO Darren Ah See.
The scope of the arrangement includes operation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Health Services provided from the Mount Druitt premises, as well as Aboriginal health services to Penrith and the Healthy4Life services to Nepean Blue Mountain areas."
Currently, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) oversees the operations of the Sydney West Aboriginal Health Service (SWAHS), which is supported by funding from both the NSW Ministry of Health and the Commonwealth government.
WACHS will work closely with WentWest to transition their current operational arrangement to WACHS for the 1 April deadline.
WentWest CEO Walter Kmet welcomed the funding announcement.
“WACHS has a long-standing reputation for a strong business model, which delivers culturally appropriate services. WentWest will work closely with WACHS during the transition of these services in line with the new arrangement.”
Western Sydney Local Health District CE Danny O’Connor also confirmed a commitment to working closely with WACHS and the PHN to strengthen Aboriginal health services in the city’s west.
“WSLHD has already developed a relationship with WACHS and is looking forward to the opportunities this new arrangement will bring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of western Sydney," he said.
For 25 years, WACHS, under the guidance of a community appointed Board of Directors, have been providing primary healthcare, allied health and health promotion services to the Aboriginal community across NSW.
In recent years WACHS has built a reputation for applying its successful business and operational model to enable the viability and stability of a number of community controlled Aboriginal health services, including:
- Establishing Aboriginal Medical Services in Orange, Coonamble and Dubbo
- Au spicing operations at Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service, which is now independent
- Re-establishing the services at the Moree Aboriginal Residential Rehabilitation Service, which had been closed for a number of years.