WA’s Aboriginal women and babies to benefit from new maternity unit
Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier will today officially launch a new maternity unit to address disparity in health outcomes for Western Australia’s Aboriginal mothers and babies.
The Aboriginal Maternity Services Support Unit (AMSSU), located at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH), aims to better address the needs of Aboriginal women accessing maternity services in WA through the introduction of a broad range of culturally appropriate resources and support strategies.
Mr Collier said while there had been some improvement in recent years, there remained a significant disparity in maternal and child health outcomes for Aboriginal women and babies when compared to non-Aboriginal women.
“We also know Aboriginal women in rural and remote WA have some of the poorest maternity and neonatal outcomes in the State,” he said.
“The State Government is committed to closing this gap for Aboriginal families and has committed $128million towards improving Aboriginal health in WA under the COAG National Partnership agreement.
“As a small but vital part of this commitment, the AMSSU has been funded by COAG for $3.28million until June 2014. COAG will also provide the framework to guide the unit’s service delivery.”
The new unit will work in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) and others on the front line of service delivery across the State.
A key priority for the new unit is working with health services and local communities to provide Aboriginal women with culturally safe and supportive services and facilities, including access to treatment from Aboriginal health workers and environments that reflect the needs of Aboriginal families.
At the launch event, the Minister will also unveil a new Aboriginal mural commissioned by KEMH and created by students from the 2010 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Course at the Challenger Institute of Technology in Rockingham. The ‘Bridging the Divide’ mural depicts the journey of Aboriginal women from regional and remote WA to Perth to receive care at KEMH.
For more information contact the Minister's office - 9213 7150