The Mid North Coast Local Health District has a population of more than 218,180 people with 5.7% of the population identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. This is higher than the New South Wales average of 2.9%*.
Aboriginal people experience more life risk factors, poorer health and less acceptable outcomes in a range of life areas when compared to other Australians. As a result, Aboriginal people are among the most disadvantaged population groups in the community.
The Mid North Coast Local Health District is striving to achieve Aboriginal Health equity in a number of ways to close the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy between Aboriginal people and other Australians.
*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016
The traditional custodians of the land covered by the MNCLHD are the Gumbaynggirr (from south of Grafton to just south of Macksville), Dunghutti (from south of Macksville to half way between Kempsey and Port Macquarie), Birpai (Port Macquarie-Hastings area), and Nganyaywana (south-east region of the New England Tablelands) nations.
Mid North Coast Local Health District acknowledges the Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and custodians of this land. We also acknowledge and regret the wrongs of historical policies and actions that negatively impacted Aboriginal people in the past and we acknowledge the continued impact on Aboriginal people in our communities.
By acknowledging past wrongs and working together to build strong relationships, we hope to create a healthier, more respectful and effective health service that provides for community needs and closes the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health and social outcomes.
Every family and community has their own story and we are committed to working together with Aboriginal people and communities to ensure that future stories are positive.
We aim to:
- create positive and honest relationships with Aboriginal people in our communities which focus on improving health outcomes, with the understanding that this will lead to greater quality of life for Aboriginal people
- provide a health system that Aboriginal people find readily accessible and culturally safe
- support Aboriginal people to build resilience, capacity and self-determination.
We commit to applying the following principles in everything we do:
Valuing Aboriginal Culture
We recognise the cultural values and traditions of Aboriginal communities. We value the unique contribution of our Aboriginal staff and all our services are culturally appropriate.
Equity in Healthcare
We recognise that sections of the Aboriginal community experience poor healthcare outcomes compared to non Aboriginal people and we strive to ‘close the gap’.
We acknowledge that Aboriginal Health encompasses not just the physical wellbeing of an individual but the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of individuals, families and the community.
Real Community Engagement
The voice of Aboriginal people is at the centre of everything we do, and anything we do, we do with Aboriginal people and not to Aboriginal people. We involve Aboriginal people as early as possible in planning, designing, implementing and evaluating our services.
We plan, collaborate and work with our partners to meet the needs of Aboriginal communities and we ensure we complement and not duplicate services and programs. We engage as early as possible with our partners to plan and respond to the needs of our Aboriginal communities.
The District’s senior leadership is committed to and prioritises ‘Closing the Gap’. All our leaders model cultural competence and are committed to championing the delivery of culturally safe services and work environments for Aboriginal people.
The MNCLHD offers a range of targeted programs and services that are available in the hospital, community or corporate service arms of the MNCLHD:
- Aboriginal Consumer Engagement
- Aboriginal Liaison Officers
- Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy
- Aboriginal Environmental Health Program
- Aboriginal Immunisation Program
- Aboriginal TB Treatment and Prevention Program
- Aboriginal Wellbeing and Violence Prevention Program
- Aboriginal Mental Health Program
- Alcohol and other Drugs Program
- Aboriginal Health Promotion
- Aboriginal Nursing Cadetship Program
- Aboriginal Palliative Care
- Aboriginal Workforce Program
- Brighter Grins Oral Health Program
- Harm reduction/health promotion
- Chronic Care for Aboriginal People Program
- Elsa Dixon School-based Traineeship
- Patient Reported Measures, Telehealth and Value Based Care.