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WA Health invests in improving outcomes for indigenous people

10 June, 2008

Developing Statewide screening and chronic disease strategies to improve the health of Aboriginal Western Australians are two of the top priorities for the new Office of Aboriginal Health Medical Officer, Dr William Patterson who starts this week.

Office of Aboriginal Health Director Ken Wyatt said he was pleased to welcome Dr Patterson, who had been seconded from the Australian Medical Association – WA, to WA Health.

“As a clinician, Dr Patterson will directly engage with areas across the Department to ensure health priorities for Aboriginal Western Australians are being met,” Wyatt said.

“He will be responsible for developing the Statewide screening and chronic disease strategies for Aboriginal Western Australians, implementing the WA Aboriginal Primary Care Action Plan and working with the Australia Medical Association and Divisions of General Practice on key strategies to improve access to primary health care.

“Dr Patterson’s appointment is part of WA Health’s investment to help achieve real and tangible health outcomes for Aboriginal Western Australians.”

Dr Patterson said he was looking forward to making a positive contribution to Aboriginal health and working with colleagues across the health sector who were striving to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

AMA (WA) President Prof Geoff Dobb said the association welcomed Dr Patterson’s secondment and was keen to work with the Government in trying to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal health.

Since 2006 Dr Patterson has been the Director of Public Health with the AMA (WA). He has been responsible for providing advice on health policy and overseeing education programs aimed at promoting youth health.

He also has a strong background in public health and delivering primary care outcomes in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

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