Policy, Planning and Advocacy

Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health

Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health

Since its inception, Miwatj Health has seen that advocacy is one of its core functions. Advocacy which points out the vital role of community-controlled health organizations, and which aims at ensuring an adequate level of primary healthcare service provision, is an essential part of our activities. Miwatj plays an active role in the peak body of Aboriginal community-controlled health services, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and other relevant bodies.

One of the most significant planning and advocacy functions undertaken by Miwatj in recent years has been to promote the concept of regionalization in East Arnhem Land. Miwatj has been the leading organisation involved in planning how this can take place.

But our advocacy cannot be limited to the direct provision of health services, important though that is: Miwatj Health also recognises that addressing the social determinants of health is necessary to help ‘close the gap’ in regard to Aboriginal disadvantage and health status compared other sections of the Australian community. In that sense it is appropriate for Miwatj to take a stance on a range of social issues affecting Aboriginal people, and argue that position to governments and others.

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