Benny Repu, 10, gets a health check from Suzanne Lee as dad Benny and brother Daniel, 1, look on.
Benny Repu, 10, gets a health check from Suzanne Lee as dad Benny and brother Daniel, 1, look on. Alistair Brightman

Aus Govt pledges more funding to boost indigenous health

THE Federal Government will kick in $777 million over the next three years as part of the renewed agreement to close the gap in indigenous health.

And Prime Minister Julia Gillard expects the states, which are yet to recommit, to pay their share.

Under the current National Partnership Agreement, due to expire on June 30, governments provided $1.58 billion over four years to improve access to health services for indigenous families and communities.

The Federal Government provided $805.5 million, with the states contributing the rest.

Under the new agreement the states would be asked to make the same contribution.

"Our renewed funding of $777 million over three years is an increase over previous per annum expenditure," Ms Gillard said in a statement.

Later on Thursday she told reporters Indigenous Health Minister Jenny Macklin had been working hard to get the states to extend their commitment.

"This is unambiguously in our nation's interests and in the interests of indigenous Australians, so I'd certainly hope that that agreement gets endorsed all around the country," she said.

The issue is not on the agenda for Friday's COAG meeting in Canberra.


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