Murdoch helping to take health care to remote communities

March 1, 2017

The Health in Motion project aims to improve health outcomes

A new partnership between Murdoch University and two Aboriginal corporations aims to improve health outcomes for people living in remote Pilbara communities.

The four year Health in Motion project will involve health professionals and final year university students delivering mobile allied health services, veterinary services and health education to 12 communities in the East Pilbara. The pilot project is scheduled to commence in 2018.

The program was designed and based on a health and education needs analysis carried out by a research team from Murdoch.

Project leader Associate Professor Bruce Walker AM, from Murdoch’s School of Health Professions, said more than 90 per cent of people surveyed in the study supported a mobile health and education unit that would travel to the smaller communities.

“We know that people in these remote areas have difficulty in accessing health care because of the time, energy and costs involved in travelling to major towns. This can have impacts on their general health,” said Professor Walker.

“By bringing health care and other services to them, we will be helping to deal with potential issues before they reach a point of crisis.

“The project will also provide our students across a number of disciplines with invaluable work experience. Our allied health students in nursing, chiropractic and counselling, as well as our veterinary science students will have the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in the Pilbara.

“Students and researchers from other parts of the University, such as education, engineering and IT, will also have the opportunity to work with these communities.”

Murdoch is currently consulting with other WA universities to gauge their interest in involving their students in the pilot project.

“The overall aim is to improve health outcomes and knowledge with supplementary services and not duplicate the services already provided,” added Professor Walker. “We consulted extensively with the local Aboriginal communities and corporations, government and industry to ensure we deliver a valuable program for the communities.”

The Health in Motion project is the result of a partnership between Murdoch, the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) and the Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation. The project is being funded by philanthropic donations worth $1.25 million, $450,000 from Gumala and $50,000 from Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation’s Nyiyaparli Charitable Trust Board.

GAC’s Executive Officer Jahna Cedar said Health in Motion was a good investment for its members.

“We hope that other Aboriginal corporations, the government and industry will also invest into this worthwhile program that will greatly benefit Aboriginal people in the Pilbara,” she said.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Aboriginal health workers from Pilbara’s local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
Further information about Health in Motion is available here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!