Nganampa Health Council is an Anangu (Aboriginal) - controlled community health organisation, providing a range of health programs to all people on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands. These lands are situated in the far north-west of South Australia, and comprise about one tenth of the total area of South Australia.
The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands are located approximately five hours drive from Alice Springs and twelve hours drive from Adelaide. Nganampa Health clinics are spread over a wide area and it takes about eight hours to drive from Iwantja in the east to Pipalyatjara in the west.
The organisation's Constitution was reviewed, updated and endorsed in 1998. The most significant advance resulting from this review is that representation from all communities on the Nganampa Health Council Health Committee (the governing body) is more comprehensive, which allows even greater attention to particular health interests throughout communities on the AP Lands. Nganampa Health Council's philosophy and mission statements reflect the objectives and purposes of the organisation that are documented in the Constitution. A copy of the Constitution is available on request from the Umuwa regional office.
Nganampa Health Today
Nganampa Health was formed in 1983, and took over the provision of health services from the South Australian Health Commission and the Pitjantjatjara Homelands Health Service in 1985.
It now employs over 100 staff who undertake a number of roles including management, clinical service delivery, program management (such as environmental health, STD control and HIV prevention, aged and disability care, women's and children's health, training), financial management, hospital liaison services and other support services. Nganampa Health also employ consultants on a needs basis to perform short term project work.
It wasn't until 1992 that the main administrative centre for Nganampa health was based on the AP Lands at Umuwa. Previously, Nganampa Health was administered from Alice Springs, and the distances between services and Alice Springs made liaison and communication difficult.
The office in Alice Springs is an important link in the services provided by Nganampa Health, Finance and personnel services, supply, STD control program, environmental health program and women's health program staff are based there.
The Director is based in the Umuwa Office, and together with administrators and support staff, plans community health services on the Lands. A significant part of this work is dealing with funding bodies, politicians, government departments and other health care organisations. the Umuwa office was officially opened in May, 1993.
At the Official Opening of the Umuwa Office, the Director, Robert Stevens, said:
There are six major clinics across the AP Lands, and three health worker stations in smaller communities. Main clinics are Iwantja (Indulkana), Mimili, Fregon, Amata, Pukatja (Ernabella) and Pipalyatjara. Health Worker Stations are at Yunyarinyi (Kenmore Park), Nyapari and Watarru.
With some minor exceptions, all of the main clinics have a staff of two or three community health nurses, four Anangu health workers, one Anangu Health Mayatja, and one cleaner/caretaker. There are medical officers resident on the AP Lands who visit all clinics on a regular basis. Health Worker Stations are generally staffed by health workers only, except for Nyapari which has one community health nurse. Some clinics provide regular visiting services to homelands.
Nganampa Health also administers a number of health programs, funded by a variety of sources, which deal with various health issues such as:
Support services that help to keep Nganampa Health going are finance, personnel and supply. Our Organisational Chart shows the range of functions provided by Nganampa Health Council.
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