Research shows Indigenous health professionals account for only 0.3% of the national healthcare workforce.
This severe underrepresentation has a number of repercussions for the industry and Indigenous members of the community seeking culturally appropriate healthcare.
“The Australian healthcare system works very well for the majority of Australians. However, there is great discrepancy in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this country,” said Dr Mark Wenitong, founder of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association.
“For Indigenous Australians, there are significant barriers to accessing medical professionals who can communicate effectively and understand cultural approaches to healthcare.”
Dr Wenitong says addressing this by encouraging Indigenous Australians to pursuit medical careers is important. “Encouraging more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to pursuit a career in medicine, and supporting them to study and succeed, should be a major focus for our nation’s health workforce,” Dr Wenitong said.
House Call Doctor recognises that Indigenous health professionals remain too few, as such we proudly offer the House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship to eligible young Australians.
“The Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship will recognise a student who has not only demonstrated exceptional academic performance, but also displayed a commitment to their local community and personal development,” said Mr Wayne Ormond, CEO of House Call Doctor.
The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to an eligible Indigenous student, with the funds contributing to their tuition fees and personal learning expenses.
Dr Wenitong, a member of the Kabi Kabi tribal group, said that Indigenous Australians have a vital role to play in our national healthcare workforce and encouraging their involvement through support programs such as this scholarship is essential.
“I would encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to apply for the Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship, along with other programs like it, and aim to make a difference in your own life along with that of the community,” Dr Wenitong said,
“A career in medicine is an attainable aspiration for our Indigenous youth today,” Dr Wentiong said. “Whilst medicine can be a challenging career, Indigenous people have been healers for millennia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are already working in a range of specialties and medical studies. We have runs on the board to show that Indigenous Australians can have a successful future in the medical field.”
For more information on eligibility and to apply for the $10,000 scholarship visit House Call Doctor’s website.