|An Aboriginal community controlled health service (ACCHS) is a primary health care service initiated by local Aboriginal communities to deliver holistic and culturally appropriate care to people within their communities. Their Board members are elected from the local Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal communities around Australia have been establishing such services since the early 1970s in response to a range of barriers inhibiting Aboriginal access to mainstream primary health care services and, as an expression of self-determination.
NACCHO provides the link between ACCHSs and between ACCHSs and the government. Its work includes:
- Promoting, increasing, developing, and expanding the provision of medical and health services through local Aboriginal community controlled primary health care services;
- Liaising with governments, departments, and organisations within both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities on matters relating to the wellbeing and health of Aboriginal communities;
- Representing and advocating for Aboriginal communities in matters relating to health services, health research, health programs, etc;
- Assisting member organisations to provide Aboriginal people with medical services and other health services; and
- Assessing the health needs of Aboriginal communities (through research, data analysis, surveys, etc), and taking steps to meet these needs.