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Australian and NT Governments to build new clinic for Tiwi people.

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Joint Media Release

The Hon Tony Abbott MHR Minister for Health and Ageing

Dr Peter Toyne MLA Minister for Health

17 February 2004 ABB012/04

Joint Media Release

Australian and NT Governments to build new clinic for Tiwi people

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments today announced funding for a new health clinic for the Tiwi people on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory.

The Australian Government has given $4.1 million to replace an existing clinic which is more than 20 years old.

“The new Nguiu clinic will be largest of the three health centres on the Tiwi Islands and Tiwi people from both islands use the service,” Mr Abbott said.

“The existing clinic will continue to operate during construction. The new site is close by and all 50 doctors, nurses and allied health workers will move to the new clinic upon completion.

“All 2500 residents of the Tiwi islands will have better access to a range of health services including clinical care, aged care, mental health and life promotion activities. The clinic will also have a renal treatment program and an onsite community pharmacy.

“It will be a one-stop health shop to better service the needs of the Tiwi people and improve the quality of health care on the Tiwi islands.”

The Northern Territory Health Minister, Peter Toyne, said Territory Health has worked with the Tiwi Island Community Consultation Group on the design and would undertake project management of the clinic redevelopment and meet the ongoing repairs and maintenance costs.

“We have worked closely with the Australian Government to provide a new clinic on the Tiwi Islands and we look forward to playing our part in delivering the best possible health service,” Dr Toyne said.

“The Tiwi islands Community Consultation Group should also be congratulated for its hard work in designing a facility

which is culturally and medically appropriate.”

The Northern Territory Government will contribute $350 000 to the clinic and pay for ongoing costs estimated to be $800 000 a year.

Both ministers agreed this arrangement is a good example of governments working together to improve health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Australian Government has allocated $258.5 million this financial year for specialist Indigenous services.

Media Contact: Kate Jordan, Office of Minister Abbott 0417 425 227 Richard O’Leary, Office of Dr Toyne 0401 119 586