Extra boost to support final stage of relocation
THE construction of a new purpose built medical clinic to house Armajun Aboriginal Health Service at Inverell has received a financial 'shot-in-the-arm' from the State Government.
During an site inspection to track the build progress of the new facility, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced $250,000 to support the final stage of the project.
Mr Marshall said the building will offer a larger, more diverse range of health services to Aboriginal people living in the New England region.
"Armajun is one of the great success stories of our region, not only as a trusted health care provider, but also as a leading employer and trainer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," Mr Marshall said.
"Unfortunately, Armajun's current premises are no longer fit for purpose, with a lack consultation and office space and appropriate access restricting its ability to provide care to the community.
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"These problems will be rectified with the new building at 3 River Street, which will be equipped with modern treatment and consultation rooms, dental clinic and laboratory, on-site gym, pathology collection centre, office space, children's area and yarning circle.
"This $250,000 grant will assist the health service to cover additional costs which have arisen in association with construction. Once the build is complete in February 2021, the next step will be to furnish and fit out the building, and I look forward to working with the State Government to secure further funding to support Armajun in that process," Mr Marshall said.
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service Chief Executive Officer Debbie McCowen said the financial assistance was welcomed at this point in the development.
"While our current building has served us well since 2011, now it is no way big enough to support the changing services we need to provide the community," Ms McCowan said.
"The benefits of a purpose built facility are endless, creating increased opportunity to recruit and retain medical staff, expand the types of health services on offer and ultimately reduce the number of hospitalisations in our Aboriginal community.
"Demand for our services have grown exponentially over time, with more than 7,000 individual clients each year now seeking treatment through our various clinics and outreach services.
"We anticipate the Inverell clinic's client base will continue to grow annually, and so our new building will mean were are better placed to accommodate that growth.
"Currently we have over 85 staff, excluding visiting specialists, and in the future we look forward to growing that staff further, by employing and training of other Aboriginal people who might be interested in a career in health."
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service services include: General Practice, Visiting Specialists, Oral Services, Allied Health, Drug and Alcohol management, Family Healing Services and Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services.
They offer health assessments, child and adult immunisations, health care planning, referrals, health prevention and promotion activities, paediatrician, obstetrician, ears, nose and throat specialist, pain and rehabilitation, psychiatrist, dietitian, speech therapy and audiology.
This article first appeared in the Inverell Times on the August 14th 2020