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A Modern Health Services Plan for Norfolk Island

Media Release

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18 May 2015

I am pleased to announce the Australian Government has set in place another step towards providing modern and integrated health and aged-care services to the Norfolk Island community with the engagement of KPMG to complete a Health Services Plan for the Island.

There have been several reports produced and community consultations undertaken in recent years which highlight the need to reform and improve the range of health-related services provided to the Norfolk Island community, and way they are delivered. The transition into Australia's taxation system from 1 July 2016 now provides the opportunity for health and aged care services to be provided in the same integrated manner provided to every other Australian.

This plan will be prepared by some of Australia's leading experts in healthcare planning and will fill in the remaining gaps in our knowledge of what it will take to establish a modern and affordable health service. Our community should expect to receive a similar level of service to those which have been effectively implemented across more than 60 regional remote communities in NSW over the past 20 years.

The Australian Government's reforms for Norfolk Island will open up opportunities for a much more proactive and coordinated approach to addressing the health and well-being of this community. We expect the new healthcare model will leverage the funding available through the Medicare, aged care and social security systems and direct this into new and innovative family and community health programmes.

One of the things which most excites me about this whole reform process is knowing our older residents will have access to a wider range of financial benefits, health and aged care services. They deserve a more comfortable retirement after their lifetime of community service.

Representatives from KPMG will visit the Island towards the end of May to undertake targeted stakeholder consultations prior to developing a plan which addresses the Island's future health and aged-care needs.

This body of work supports the findings of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, in its report on economic development of Norfolk Island, Same Country, Different World.

The Hon Gary Hardgrave