Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Work starts on new $3.7million Kalumburu health clinic

    18/06/2008 12:00 AM

    More than 500 people living in one of Western Australia’s most remote Aboriginal communities will soon have access to a new and improved health clinic.


    Health Minister Jim McGinty said the project to build a new health clinic in Kalumburu was the first one of its kind for the Department of Health, which is working in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), the Department of Defence and the local community.


    “The new clinic will provide the community with better access to health services, while staff will enjoy a much improved work environment,” Mr McGinty said.


    “It will be substantially larger and will for the first time accommodate dental and dialysis services, along with primary and emergency care.


    “There will be two self-contained visitors’ accommodation units and clinic space available for health professionals visiting to help address the complex health needs currently challenging the Kalumburu community.


    The existing clinic, built in the early 1980s, no longer meets the health needs of the community, due to an increase in population.


    “The State Government is spending $1.7million on building materials and equipment and the Department of Defence is contributing an estimated $2million plus in labour.


    “Through the WA Country Health Service, the State Government will continue to staff the clinic with remote area nurses, Aboriginal health workers, visiting general practitioners and specialists at a cost of more than $300,000 each year.”


    Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said she was pleased the Kalumburu community would soon have a new clinic to meet the health needs of the community.


    “Health clinics such as this provide an essential service to remote Aboriginal communities and I am pleased that this new, larger clinic has more space to accommodate visiting health professions,” Mrs Martin said.


    “The current and past staff of the old clinic are to be commended for working under what can only be described as ‘challenging’ clinic conditions for so many years.”


    The project is being managed by the Australian Army’s 19th Chief Engineers Works and built by the 21st Construction Squadron under the Army Aboriginal Assistance Program (AACAP).


    AACAP is an Australian Government initiative between the Department of Defence and FaHCSIA. It provides assistance to Aboriginal communities, in order to improve primary access to health care services and improve environmental health conditions.


    Kalumburu was identified as a priority area under AACAP and is also the first step in a more comprehensive strategy funded by the Australian Government, known as the Strategic Interventions Package (SIP), which will seek to close the gap on indigenous disadvantage.


    In addition to the new clinic, FaHCSIA are also investing $4.15million in funding to construct a community toilet block, repair and upgrade the community barge landing and the community airstrip, as well as well as selected internal and access roads.  FaHCSIA will also fund the Employability Skills Training Program and the Health Promotion, Training and Treatment Program.


    The old Kalumburu health clinic has been demolished and a temporary clinic has been established to ensure the community still has access to vital health services.


    The new clinic is due to be completed by October this year.


    Minister's office - 9422 3000