The Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee (see full list below) today called on the Federal Government to maintain Indigenous health funding, in its submission to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
The plan, for which consultations have been held over the past 8 weeks, will replace the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health which expires in 2013.
Close the Gap Campaign co-chair Mick Gooda said the Steering Committee commended the government on its commitment to develop a long term plan to Close the Gap, a longstanding call of the Campaign.
“The plan will be critical for building on the foundations in place and ensuring continued efforts to meet the challenge of closing the gap by 2030,” Mr Gooda said.
“It is particularly timely given the $1.6 billion National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Health Outcomes is due to expire in June 2013.”
Mr Gooda said the campaign was seeking assurances from the Government that investment in Indigenous health funding would continue after this period, given all parties had committed to the 2030 target to close the gap on Indigenous health inequality.
“We cannot take our eye off the ball or fall into any sense of complacency in relation to Indigenous health,” he said.
“Because we are now seeing some early signs of progress towards closing the gap, it is even more important to maintain commitments of both funds and effort as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are still dying too young.”
“The National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Health Outcomes must be renewed with at least the same level of funding to build on the strong foundations in place.”
“Ongoing funding is vital so that this work can continue. The bipartisan commitment to closing the gap cannot fall victim to budget cuts.”
“With 180,000 supporters of the Close the Gap Campaign, it’s clear the Australian public expects ongoing investment commensurate with need.”
Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee
Media contact: Emily Barker 0419 258 597
- Ms Jody Broun, Co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
- Mr Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
- Australian Indigenous Doctors Association
- Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association
- Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Nurses
- Indigenous Allied Health Australia Inc
- Indigenous Dentists Association of Australia
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Physiotherapists
- National Co-ordinator – tackling Indigenous Smoking (Dr Tom Calma- Campaign founder and former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner)
- National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee
- The Lowitja Institute
- Torres Strait Island Regional Authority
- Australian General Practice Network
- Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council
- Australian Human Rights Commission (secretariat)
- Australian Medical Association
- Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation
- Australian Peak Nursing and Midwifery Forum
- The Fred Hollows Foundation
- Heart Foundation Australia
- Menzies School of Health Research
- Oxfam Australia
- Palliative Care Australia
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Professor Ian Ring, Wollongong University (expert adviser