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37-47 Wee Waa Street
New South Wales
Walgett Aboriginal Medical Health Co-operative
About WAMS (Overview)
In 1986 we opened our doors to the Walgett community. The Board of Directors moved a resolution to treat ALL people, and that has been the case since. Currently, 40% of our clients are non-Aboriginal.
How did the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) begin?
The first AMS was founded in Redfern in 1971 - not from Government handouts, but from donations from non-Aboriginal supporters of Aboriginal Rights. Judges, Ministers, Teachers and Church people formed the core of this support. Their actions came from their observations of the less than acceptable level of health services available to Aboriginal peoples.
The second AMS opened it's doors in 1972, and now there are more than 100 nation wide. Locally, the Aboriginal community of Walgett started lobbying for an AMS in the late 70's.
The Aboriginal community of Walgett lobbied for an AMS in the late 70’s. Some of the issues they argued for an AMS was that women were giving birth on hospital verandahs, people being turned away because they were Aboriginal, and generally feeling uncomfortable about being treated in a very non-Aboriginal middle-class establishment when they themselves were only recognised as citizens of this nation in 1967.
In 1986 Walgett opened its doors to provide an AMS. The Board of Directors moved a resolution to treat all people in the community and that has been the case ever since. Our statistics show today that 40% of our clients are non-Aboriginal. While people may argue that we should only treat Aboriginal people I think we have shown all members of the community that we are here for everyone to help in any way we can.
Monies for WAMS come from a separate bucket of money for Aboriginal health despite the belief that AMSs take the money away from the mainstream health services. AMSs are an important part in the delivery of Primary Health Care and recognised as equal partners in delivery of Health by both the State and Federal Ministers for Health.
- Allied health care
- Skills development
- Social development
- Complex support
- High support
- Low support
- Aboriginal Support Worker
- Administration Coordinator
- Assessment and case management
- Assistant in Nursing
- Enrolled Nurse
- Frontline Professional
- Frontline Support
- Occupational Therapist
- Registered Nurse
- Speech Pathologist