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Health Framework Agreement (Torres Strait Islands)
|Date:||5 February 1999|
|Sub Category:||Framework Agreement|
|Location:||Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia|
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|Subject Matter:||Health and Community Services|
|The Health Framework Agreement for the Torres Strait Islands was signed on 5 February 1999 by the Federal Health and Aged Care Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, the Queensland Health Minister, Ms Wendy Edmond, and the Chairperson of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Mr John Abednego.|
|This agreement was among a set of Framework Agreements on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health entered into by all state and territory governments between July 1996 and February 1999. These were set to expire in June 2000, though the parties agreed to recommit to them and the resigning process began in 2001 (NATSIHC 2003, 23). They were created following an agreement made by Health Ministers in 1995 to create multilateral framework agreements. |
This agreement was the only one of the Framework Agreements which dealt with a specific region rather than with a state or territory (Wooldridge 1999). At the signing, the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said that the 'agreement formally recognises the special health needs of the Torres Strait and agrees to joint health planning and priority setting in the region' (Wooldridge 1999).
The Framework Agreements were designed to improve coordination between federal and statement governments and to improve relationships between governments and indigenous organisations (NACCHO 1999). Specifically, they aimed 'to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through:
1. improving access to both mainstream and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific health and health related programs which [would] reflect the level of need;
2. increasing the level of resources allocated to reflect the higher level of need of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including within mainstream services, and transparent and regular reporting for all services and programs; and
3. joint planning processes which [would] inform the allocation of resources and allow for:
Following the creation of the first set of Framework Agreements, a national level agreement was created (the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health). The first state and territory Framework Agreements have since been resigned or replaced under this national framework.
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