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DisabilityCare faces challenges as national scheme rolls out to Indigenous communities


DisabilityCare faces challenges as national scheme rolls out to Indigenous communities

The Federal Government is yet to work out how to tailor DisabilityCare to Indigenous people as the national scheme is rolled out across Australia.

Figures from the last census revealed half of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live with some form of disability or long-term health condition.

The scale of the problem is one of the challenges facing the newly created DisabilityCare Australia.

In remote communities there are existing problems with infrastructure, access to health services, and staffing issues.

And there are concerns the approach DisabilityCare is applying in existing trial sites will not work.

Indigenous people forced to leave communities

Most Indigenous people with a disability are forced to leave their remote community and live in regional centres to obtain respite care.

Keith Jurrah was born in the tiny community of Papunya, 240 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.

Due to diabetes and other health problems he had one leg and his other foot amputated.

"They took behind the knee. I've got a walking artificial leg but I need to train a lot," he said.

He now lives in a nursing home, one of the few places that can provide adequate care.

Mr Jurrah hopes DisabilityCare will allow him to return home.

"I want to go back to Papunya …We need someone who can stay there helping," he said.

Mr Jurrah has expressed frustration the Federal Government has not announced a trial site in a remote Aboriginal community.

'We don't want to wait an extra 10 years for this," he said.

"Now the Government has got this thing going on they started off in big cities like Geelong. Why can't they start in this area, the most remote area?"

References and further information

This article was originally produced by ABC News.


To read the rest of the article visit ABC News website


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