October 28, 2020 

 

How We Help

    

Message from the CEO

The Bila Muuji region covers western and far western NSW, an area of 445 000 sq kms (almost double that of Victoria) with a total population of 312 000, 12% of whom are Aboriginal. On the SEIFA index of dis-advantage, this area sits alongside rural Narrabri, or just above Liverpool and Campbelltown in Sydney’s western sub-urbs, though not as high as Blacktown. There are high levels of unemployment, ranging up to 9.8% in Wentworth shire (NSW average is 5.4%, Australian average 5.8%). It has the lowest life expectancy in the state and, in remote areas, a premature mortality rate more than double the state average. The challenges of providing health services to such a remote and dis-persed population are immense and the Aboriginal involvement in the establish-ment of the Western NSW PHN arrange-ments presents a critical opportunity to transform health service delivery for the region. Aboriginal representation in the PHN is more advantageous than any other region in NSW, so the timing for Bila Muuji couldn’t be better.

Phil Naden, CEO

  • Bourke AMS had concerns about the extent methylated spirits was being consumed by their community and the lack of information and education on its effects. Also the lack of regulation controlling its sale. An approach was made by Bila Muuji to the Centre for Education and Information on Drugs and Alcohol (CEIDA) and a culturally sensitive training program was developed. Also Bourke AMS worked with Consumer Affairs assessing the Poisons’ Information Act regarding human consumption of methylated spirits which resulted in an award of excellence for the Bourke AMS.
  • Bila Muuji was sensitive to the change within the health system regarding accrediting health agencies and foresaw the importance of achieving a similar accreditation for the AMS’s. After discussions with Accreditation bodies that were endorsed by the Department of Health and Ageing, we decided that the Community Health Accreditation Standard Program (CHASP) was the most appropriate for AMS’s and it would give us an equally recognised standard with mainstream health services.
  • Recognising the urgent need for adequate Aboriginal oral health in western NSW, Charles Sturt University (CSU), Western Local Health District (WLHD) and Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Service Inc. will join forces. CSU has established a Student Clinical Placement Program for CSU Dentistry and Oral Health Therapy undergraduates at regional Bila Muuji sites and we will also investigate opportunities of joint research projects. Also, a partnership between CSU, Bila Muuji and GWAHS means we now have an Oral Health Promotion Coordinator. The School of Dentistry and Health Sciences is particularly excited by this partnership. “Bila Muuji clinical activities and CSU’s educational footprint very neatly dovetail across western NSW,” says Professor Ward Massey, Head of School. “The MoU will result in Bila Muuji input into curriculum content and delivery, provision of scholarships for CSU students and patient care at Bila Muuji sites by CSU students and staff.” 
  • Western Local Health District (WLHD) re-signed a significant Partnership Agreement with the Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Services Incorporated on 19 August 2009. The original Partnership Agreement was signed in March 2009 by Western Local Health District (WLHD) Chief Executive, Dr Claire Blizard and Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Service Inc Chair Person, Christine Corby. The resigning of this Partnership signifies a recommitment to the importance of partnerships at both an area and regional level.
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