Northern Territory Govt Continues To Address RHD Issues

Northern Territory Govt Continues To Address RHD Issues

Northern Territory Minister for Health Natasha Fyles

Housing And Health Funding To Reduce Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD)

Victor P Taffa

Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles has renewed the Territory Government’s commitment to health and housing at this week’s conference on rheumatic heart disease in Darwin.

A two day workshop run by RHDAustralia raised serious concerns about the high levels of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Australia.

“In the NT we have some of the highest recorded rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, with most cases recorded in Indigenous communities.” Health Minister Natasha Fyles said.

More than 2,500 Territorians are affected by the disease that has been all but eradicated from the developed world.

“Rheumatic heart disease is a disease of social disadvantage and it is completely preventable.” Minister Fyles said.

“Our government is well aware of the devastating statistics and the impact on individuals, communities and the health system. We know that the provision of appropriate housing is a key factor in preventing RHD.”

Northern Territory Government is making a 10 year $1.1 Billion investment of Territory funding for housing across remote communities.

This program will improve the housing situation to enhance the wellbeing of Territorians in remote communities.

“The decisions made by local people will drive the delivery of housing across key programs.” Minister Fyles said.

  • HomeBuild NT will see $500 Million over 10 years for the delivery of new housing for remote communities.
  • An additional $200 Million will be allocated for Repairs and Maintenance over 10 years to improve housing and provide employment and training for a local workforce.
  • $200 Million over 10 years for “Room to Breathe” for more living and sleeping space, outdoor living and cooking areas.
  • $200 Million over 10 years for additional remote government employee housing accessible to local employees.

Northern Territory Government has also committed to improving the delivery of health services in remote areas, in particular for our children.

“Our Early Childhood strategic plan, aims to provide a good start to life for every Territory child, and we will do this by strengthening service and supports from 20 weeks gestation until 5 years of age.”

“We will also develop a Child and Youth Health Plan by 2018, incorporating a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, family, relationships, accommodation, and education.” Minister Fyles said.

Northern Territory Government’s robust child health program will also be updated, the Healthy Under 5 Kids, by strengthening the emphasis on partnering with families.

A trial of the program is soon to be conducted in urban and remote centres as we recognise that Families are the key to providing good preventative health measures.