Culturally appropriate healthcare clinics set to open up in Katanning and Narrogin

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Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
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Katanning and Narrogin community members visit Bunbury to learn about SWAMS and celebrate the new clinics.
Camera IconKatanning and Narrogin community members visit Bunbury to learn about SWAMS and celebrate the new clinics. Credit: supplied

Aboriginal health and wellbeing services are set to open in Narrogin and Katanning to bring more culturally appropriate healthcare to local Indigenous communities.

Two new South West Aboriginal Medical Service clinics in the region are planned to accommodate a culturally appropriate GP, counsellor, registered nurse and an Aboriginal healthcare worker.

Working closely with elders and other community members, SWAMS identified a need to expand into the region because of a reported deficiency in culturally appropriate healthcare.

Based on a “community-driven Indigenous model of care”, SWAMS primary health co-ordinator Elsie Penny said the new clinics would bolster integral healthcare services and help generate role models.

“This is self-empowering for our community to have an Indigenous healthcare service in the region,” Ms Penny said.

“We understand what these people have been through, and we understand what it is like because we too are Indigenous.”

SWAMS chief executive Lesley Nelson said the healthcare services created more networks which would help them attract other services to the towns.

“We see this expansion as a way to not only provide quality and essential health care services to the community, but also as a way to ease the burden on an already stretched public health care system in these towns,” she said.

SWAMS is opening up Careers Day events in Katanning on May 12 and Narrogin on May 13 to promote job opportunities and connect with the community.

Ms Nelson said the new clinics will have a positive economic effect on the community thanks to the creation of a number of new jobs.

The SWAMS clinics are set to open four days a week.

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