The Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative in Redfern

I call it hospital in the community
we’ve been here for 50 years. We’ve thrived on self-determination, our
governance which means that, you know, this organisation is governed by an all Aboriginal board. Our senior executives and middle management of all
Aboriginal this organisation is the first established Aboriginal community
controlled health organisation and it was on the basis of two things. One was
racism and the other was because people couldn’t access free, or you know, cheap
medical services and so that’s how come we, this place was established. What I do
then to flip all that is look at our burden of disease and try and provide
services there so that’s what we’ve done. As I said earlier it was 16 specialist
services and they’re just ran off their feet. So people are feeling more
comfortable coming here and accepting their treatment plans and pathways rather
than accessing the hospital system and I think that’s true to every Aboriginal
Health Service in New South Wales. We only get funding once you’re diagnosed
with something you know that’s too late when I look at our data, we’ve got,
you know, I think 0 to 9 we’re well and then from 9 to 15, 16 we’re gradually
becoming unwell and then it’s just a spiraling down
from there. You know Nigel Scullion came here and he said I will what what
do you want have you had a wish, with and I said well, I want to keep the well, well!
You know and like we have we run a surf program. It’s on volunteer basis and, you
know, we try and teach them healthy living, you know, healthy lifestyle, we
give them a healthy lunch and, you know, and plenty of activity, you know, and
hopefully that they will, you know, remember that and take it and they’re
very they’re very sincere and they’ll always come back to the Aboriginal
Medical Service. But yet the ideology of healthy lifestyle, you know, they’d be
waiting eagerly, 8 o’clock in the morning! They’ve put in the hard yards too. They
wanted to go ice skating to afterwards and I thought “Oh Hell No!” because, you
know, I’d have to count all your fingers and toes and everything before and then
on the way home. We’d have to do the same – I said I will think about that one

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published