Bourke primary health care service revitalised

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has today announced the end of the special administration of Bourke Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (BACHS).

BACHS is a primary health care service with around 1350 clients in the Bourke shire of New South Wales. Its major funding is under the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) and the NSW Ministry of Health. 

In September 2020, when BACHS transferred its registration to the CATSI Act, the corporation was rated as at extreme risk of failure, and client numbers had dropped by 30 per cent over 4 years. Two months later, both major funding bodies wrote to the Registrar requesting the urgent appointment of a special administrator. Neither was willing to continue to fund the health service unless or until a special administrator could restore good governance and viability to the corporation.

‘The special administration has been very successful in restoring confidence in the corporation, among both the funding bodies and the broader community. BACHS is now compliant with its statutory obligations, and secure in its funding for the next financial year,’ said Mr Button. 

In the last three months, services BACHS provides have experienced a significant increase in patient numbers:

  • GPs’ booked appointments and walk-ins have both increased by 150% 
  • nursing consultations have increased by 142%
  • women’s health clinic attendances have increased by 200%.

Skills have been considered in designing a new board model, with member directors supported by 2 experienced independent specialist directors recruited for their board governance and sector expertise. The management team has also been refreshed with a new CEO and deputy CEO.

The Registrar’s office will monitor the corporation for the next 12 months.

Background

See the Registrar’s previous media release, ‘Funders request remedy for Bourke health service’, 15 December 2020.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg, 0477 762 290 

ORIC MR2021-21

18 June 2021