Monday, 3 March 2014
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) poor kidney health continues to be a serious problem for Aboriginal people in Central Australia with an alarming growth in the need for dialysis both now and in the future,
(ii) the release of a report by the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation and EY into Service Delivery Model of remote dialysis in Central Australia, and
(iii) this report finds That the Western Desert Dialysis model of care:
(A) offers a unique combination of services and approach to patient care and community engagement that has allowed for significant success particularly in terms of patient participation,
(B) is cost effective,
(C) encourages higher patient participation rate,
(D) creates better clinical outcomes,
(E) offers higher levels of clinical safety, and
(F) supports people to be able to remain on country, which means that there is a greater prospect of children accessing education, adults contributing economically and communities remaining safe and stable; and
(b) calls on the Government to ensure that:
(i) the $10 million earmarked by the previous government for renal services is urgently spent on improving central desert infrastructure, and
(ii) a community approach to renal services is at the heart of any renal treatment strategy.
As has been noted in the chamber by Minister Nash, this motion today is a stunt of sorts, and the government does not support it. The former government allocated $13 million to respond to the findings of the Central Australia Renal Study. However, it is understood that negotiations by the previous government with states and the Northern Territory failed to reach an agreement and, as a result, $3 million was returned to consolidate revenue. In 2013-14, $10 million was allocated for projects to support dialysis in Central Australia, but, again, negotiations by the previous government with the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia were unsuccessful. There are significant challenges associated with delivering dialysis services in Central Australia, and this government is considering innovative ways to deliver services to remote communities and to ensure that resources effectively reach those who need them.
This is back on the agenda for a number of reasons, but one is that the government is currently trying to cut funds wherever possible and it is very important to ensure that the Senate highlights the importance of this $10 million for the community of Central Australia. Western Desert Dialysis services have also just released a report by EY that shows the very significant contribution that community dialysis provides to the community. In fact, it provides services at the equivalent of the national efficient price, which is particularly important given that these services actually provide dialysis services in community. It is extremely important to keep people in community. This motion also calls not only for the $10 million but also to remind the government of the importance of community dialysis and delivering that dialysis in community. (Time expired)
Question agreed to.