A draft plan to strengthen and grow the Aboriginal health workforce, part of the state government's Rural Health Workforce Strategy, has been released for consultation.
The draft Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan explores strategies to attract, recruit and strengthen the regional Aboriginal health workforce.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said the aim was to continue to deliver a high level of care in rural areas.
"The Aboriginal health workforce in rural and remote South Australia is integral to delivering culturally responsive health services and improving the health and wellbeing of our Aboriginal communities," he said.
"Our draft Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan aims to increase the Aboriginal health workforce in regional areas and provide culturally appropriate and supportive health care for Aboriginal people, closer to home.
"Consultation with Aboriginal communities, regional Local Health Network leads, the Aboriginal health workforce and key stakeholders will occur across the state until October, [and] feedback will be brought together to ensure we can secure the workforce we need for the future."
Rural Support Service acting chief clinical advisor Dr Matthew McConnell said the proposed strategies aimed to build a stronger and more sustainable Aboriginal health workforce in regional South Australia.
"More than 17,000 Aboriginal people live across our six regional Local Health Networks, which is why it is important we increase the capacity and capability of the Aboriginal health workforce in both our hospitals and community settings so in partnership we can deliver better health outcomes for Aboriginal people," he said.
Rural Health Workforce Strategy Aboriginal Health Working Group chairperson Sharon Perkins said the plan looked to harness the extensive skills and cultural expertise of Aboriginal people in delivering health services.
"Some of the strategies outlined in the plan include providing training opportunities, identifying innovative ways to attract and recruit Aboriginal health workers, and increasing Aboriginal representation throughout all professions and at all levels of health services," she said.
"Our priority throughout the consultation process and the development of this plan is to ensure that the voices of Aboriginal people are heard so we can deliver a plan that is tailored to meet the needs of the community, both now and into the future."
The Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan is the fifth plan developed as part of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy.
For more information and to view the draft plan, visit sahealth.sa.gov.au/ruralhealthworkforce.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.