Medical Deans engages in partnerships to further its contribution to Indigenous Health. A key and longstanding partnership has been with the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA). In November 2011 Medical Deans and Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (TeORA) the Maori Medical Practitioners Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand also committed to a formal collaborative partnership. The LIME Network project also fosters highly productive partnerships between and within Australian and New Zealand medical schools and seeks to build linkages between varied health disciplines.
Collaboration with AIDA
Medical Deans and AIDA are committed to a collaborative, productive and effective partnership to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The formalisation of the Agreement in 2005 brought together the peak representative body for Deans of Medicine with the peak representative body for Indigenous medical students and doctors. The collaboration was an important initiative, as it demonstrated how Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations could develop meaningful partnerships with shared objectives and effective outcomes.
A second Collaboration Agreement was signed for 2008-2011, outlining important objectives including a review of the CDAMS Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework and Healthy Futures Report, a biennial Indigenous Knowledge Initiative for the Deans of Medicine, and vertical integration of Indigenous Health curriculum.
A third Collaboration Agreement was developed and signed for the period 2012-2015, building on the successes of the 2005-2008 and 2008-2011 Collaboration Agreements and reaffirming the strong and sustained commitment of both organisations to partnership. Key activities within the Agreement included advocating for medical education structural and policy reform, maintaining active partnerships with peak bodies in medical education and training, and initiating research, data collation, reporting and programs aimed to increase the retention rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students.
The fourth Collaboration Agreement was signed in 2015 marking the ten years anniversary since the inaugural agreement. This is a milestone achievement which recognises the ongoing and successful Collaboration between AIDA and Medical Deans.
AIDA and Medical Deans have jointly influenced broader structural reform and policy and program agendas at the national level in both health and education. The key objectives of the fourth Collaboration Agreement are to support a growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical workforce, provide leadership within the medical community on priority health matters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, drive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health initiatives across the medical education continuum and support initiatives across other health disciplines; and share knowledge routinely and through specified identified initiatives.
Both Medical Deans and AIDA are committed to working together within the principles of acknowledgement of the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, mutual regard and respect, inclusive consultation and decision-making, and cultural safety for all peoples in all spheres.
Collaboration with TeORA
Medical Deans and TeORA are now also committed to a collaborative, productive and effective partnership to improve health outcomes for the Māori people of New Zealand. The formalisation of the Agreement in 2011 brought together the peak representative body for Deans of Medicine with the peak representative body for Māori medical practitioners. This first collaboration agreement with TeORA reflects Medical Deans’ trans-tasman representation and both organisations commitment to work together within the principles of acknowledgement of the sovereignty of the Māori peoples, mutual regard and respect, inclusive consultation and decision-making, and cultural safety for all peoples in all spheres.
Memorandum of Understanding with NACCHO
In May 2013 Medical Deans signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). This agreement is aimed at working together to improve medical school curricula by increasing capacity for medical student placements in Indigenous primary health care settings. The two way partnership provides the potential for increasing individual partnerships between Medical Schools and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, increasing the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Islander medical students and building the capacity of NACCHO health services across the country.