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Health Framework Agreement (Torres Strait Islands)

Category: Agreement
Date: 5 February 1999
Sub Category:Framework Agreement
Location:Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia
Subject Matter:Health and Community Services
Summary Information:
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.
Detailed Information:
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:
  • full and formal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in decision making and determination of priorities;
  • improved co-operation and co-ordination of current service delivery and
  • increased clarity with respect to the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders.' (NACCHO 1999).

    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.

  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Torres Strait Health Partnership Framework Agreement
  • Organisation
  • State of Queensland - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Torres Strait Regional Authority - Signatory
  • Policy/Strategy
  • National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Primary Health Care Access Program (PHCAP)
  • A National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well Being: 2004 - 2009
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce National Strategic Framework

  • References

    Media Release
    Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care (5 February 1999) Historic health agreement for Torres Strait Islands
    Report
    National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (August 1999) Report on the implementation of the framework agreements on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
    Resource
    Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet (2004) Major developments in national Indigenous health policy since 1967

    Glossary

    Framework Agreement

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