Media Releases


April 25, 2022

An Albanese Labor Government will train 500 additional First Nations Health Workers and invest in life-saving dialysis and rheumatic heart disease treatments to help close the gap in First Nations health outcomes.

Aboriginal community-controlled health services worked tirelessly to keep First Nations communities safe during the pandemic. 

Their workforce has been stretched to its limits and vital programs such as chronic disease prevention and First Nations health checks have had to be scaled back.

Labor will work in partnership with community-controlled and other health services to strengthen the sector and improve health outcomes for First Nations people by: 

  • Training 500 First Nations Health Workers – building the First Nations health workforce, creating jobs and revitalising community-controlled health services after the pandemic. 
  • Delivering up to 30 new dialysis units – so people living in the city and the bush can access lifesaving treatment for chronic kidney disease. 
  • Doubling federal funding to combat Rheumatic Heart Disease – so that fewer people miss out on lifesaving screening, treatment and prevention programs in high-risk communities. 

First Nations people continue to die years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians. Too many suffer from preventable and treatable disease. 

By supporting 500 new trainees, Labor will help expand the First Nations health and care workforce to meet the growing needs of communities as well as providing genuine employment pathways on country. 

Our new dialysis units mean more people will receive lifesaving treatment without having to travel long distances or relocate away from family and country.  

Right now, many communities don’t have the clean water supply they need to support dialysis. So Labor will invest $15 million to improve water supply in remote communities, enabling new dialysis units in these communities for the first time. 

Labor will also double federal funding to further our goal of eradicating Rheumatic Heart Disease with a $12 million investment in prevention, screening and treatment, including $1.5 million for portable echo-cardio machines and training to support vital screening efforts. 

These commitments will be implemented through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), communities and health experts. 

Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Australian Labor Party:
“Labor recognises that the profound gap in First Nations health outcomes will never be closed without extra effort and close engagement with Aboriginal community-controlled health services. 

“Our policies will strengthen this vital sector, supporting the development of the First Nations health workforce, creating jobs and addressing the disproportionate burden of kidney and rheumatic heart disease in First Nations communities.” 

Quotes attributable to Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing: 
“Every Australian deserves the health care they need and for far too long First Nations people have suffered far worse health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians. 

An Albanese Labor Government will invest in the First Nations health sector to boost the important work they are already doing to combat chronic disease and close the gap.” 

Quotes attributable to Linda Burney, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians:
“Throughout the pandemic, Aboriginal controlled health services worked tirelessly to protect the health of their communities. 

“Building their workforce through a dedicated, culturally appropriate traineeship program and supporting their capacity to undertake preventative care will save lives and bring us closer to closing the gap in First Nations health outcomes.”