Media releases

April 19, 2012

Medibank focuses on Indigenous Health

Medibank today launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) committing to a range of preliminary actions aimed at the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Medibank is the first private health insurer to release a RAP and while it has had some previous involvement in community programs for Indigenous groups, the RAP significantly expands the organisation's commitments.

Medibank Managing Director, George Savvides said the RAP was an important step for Medibank's involvement with Indigenous Australia.

"The sad reality is that, despite today's modern advances in health services, there remains a life expectancy gap between mainstream Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which is proving difficult to shift. It is therefore vital that all institutions in Australia look at what can be done and what role they can play.

"Medibank stands For Better Health for all Australians. Indeed it is our belief that every person has the right to good health. That is why we have prepared our first Reconciliation Action Plan."

Actions under the RAP were created by a working group made up of senior Medibank Employees from across the organisation, as well as external advisors, including Mark Yettica Paulson - a specialist in Indigenous engagement - and Chris Kirby, Deputy CEO from Reconciliation Australia.

"There are simple things we commit to in the plan, such as putting an 'acknowledgement of traditional owners' up in our offices. But there are also more complex actions including cultural protocols for our clinical services area and scoping a piece of research on the barriers to heath insurance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"Reconciliation Action Plan's are about putting pen to paper and making a real commitment, and I am looking forward to reporting the results," Mr Savvides said.

A copy of the Reconciliation Action Plan is available on request and will be published on www.medibankcf.com.au


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