Health service denies problems with Aboriginal services

NORTHERN NSW Local Health District has denied its Aboriginal health education officers are overworked, underpaid and desperate for dedicated indigenous cancer care staff.

When asked directly whether the district employs any dedicated indigenous cancer carers, a spokesperson deflected the question.

"Cancer services within NNSWLHD have access to Aboriginal Health staff and literature and staff have access to cultural awareness training," they said.

"Social workers are trained in identifying social, cultural and financial needs and provide direct care or referrals , like the Aboriginal Health workers."

The spokesperson denied Aboriginal health education officers are taking on the role, despite a lack of training, no extra pay and extra working hours.

They also denied there has been a number of long-standing Aboriginal health education officer vacancies

The spokesperson noted the district was unaware of any specific incidents of racism, but would seriously investigate any allegations.

When asked whether it believes specialised indigenous cancer carers are needed, the health district spokesperson said: "NNSW LHD is reviewing the Aboriginal Health Plan and concerns such as this will be considered".