AHCWA secures Federal Government funding to ensure CMSAC’s future

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA is pleased to have secured Federal Government funding to ensure the future of the Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation. AHCWA is now overseeing the management and finances of CMSAC, after the organisation fell into financial difficulties and the former CEO was removed.

An investigation into the former CEO Shane Van Styn’s handling of CMSAC’s finances is still ongoing.

AHCWA applied to the Federal Department of Health for funding to keep services running, and the Minister has approved one-off funding of $300,000 for 2015-16, $40,000 in 2016-17 and $40,000 in 2017-18.

AHCWA Chairperson Michelle Nelson-Cox said the money would ensure that the organisation could continue to provide culturally appropriate health services to Aboriginal people in Carnarvon.

“Our biggest priority is to ensure that services are maintained,” she said. “CMSAC is a vital instrument in delivering medical services to Aboriginal people in the Carnarvon area, and this Federal Government money will ensure it continues to deliver those services.

“The Directors and staff have been working very hard to minimise any impact on patients.” Ms Nelson-Cox said some of the money would also assist AHCWA to cover the costs associated with managing CMSAC, as well as undertaking capacity-building activities to ensure it continued to improve.

“AHCWA will implement policies and procedures across the organisation to strengthen all processes, including open and transparent recruitment,” she said. “We will be looking to attract qualified professionals to the organisation to ensure its long-term viability.

“We also intend to rebuild the governance of the board, to prevent this type of situation occurring again in the future.”

Ms Nelson-Cox said the department had also entered into a Deed of Novation to transfer CMSAC’s funding agreement to AHCWA, which would ensure that the organisation would continue to be responsible for CMSAC’s finances until an intended hand-back to local control in 2018.

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