Summary: This report provides evidence that Aboriginal health services run by Aboriginal people:
- Provide jobs for more than 3,200 Aboriginal people (over 5,000 in total) and are the main source of Aboriginal employment in many communities;
- Boost education levels of Aboriginal people with onsite training and genuine career paths;
- Provide wages and salaries higher than the average Aboriginal Australian income; and
- Provide the preferred method of primary health delivery to the majority of Aboriginal people in the areas they service with demand growing at more than 6% a year.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services operate in urban, regional and remote Australia. They range from large multi-functional services employing several medical practitioners providing a wide range of services, to small services which rely on Aboriginal Health Workers and/or nurses to provide the bulk of comprehensive primary care services, often with a preventive, health education focus. The services form a network, but each is autonomous and independent both of one another and of government. The ACCHS model of service is in keeping with the philosophy of Aboriginal community control and the holistic view of health. Addressing the ill-health of Aboriginal people can only be achieved by local Aboriginal people amounting to Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands.