Bupa works towards health equality with Reconciliation Action Plan
Health and care company Bupa has today launched its second Reconciliation Action Plan. Developed in partnership by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-indigenous employees, the plan outlines Bupa’s vision to work towards health equality for First Nations.
Richard Bowden, Bupa Australia & New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, said the Plan focuses on delivering tangible change, including a commitment to ending rheumatic heart disease (RHD), creating career pathways and publicly supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
“We knew that we needed to become more targeted and practical in how we enacted our Plan. That is why we have focused on funding innovation towards ending RHD in Australia and on providing career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“RHD is an entirely preventable disease, yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 20 times more likely to die from RHD than their non-Indigenous peers.
“We’ve invested money to create two END RHD communities in the Northern Territory to test a new community-led model of care in partnership with Telethon Kids and the Menzies School of Health Research. This model is now being expanded to another community in the Kimberley with the support of the Federal Government.
“Additionally, we have signed a partnership with the CareerTrackers internship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students, committing to 10 internships a year for 10 years and launched a scholarship to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at university,” Mr Bowden said.
Bupa has also announced its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution and speaks to the work that must be done to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“Bupa’s support is underpinned by the voices of our employees who support constitutional recognition as an important step to improve the long-term health and emotional wellbeing of First Nations people,” Mr Bowden said.
“Before taking this position we spent time listening to our employees to understand why they felt it was important for Bupa to support the Statement and then worked with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to craft the wording of our support and highlight how it related to our purpose.
Karen Mundine, Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia welcomed the commitment from Bupa.
Bupa launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2015 and has used learnings from its implementation to improve the latest Plan.