MEDICAL clinics need to be rebuilt to entice Aboriginal males, who should be treated by indigenous doctors, to overcome the 17-year shortfall in their life expectancy by 2030, the peak indigenous health body will say today.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation will unveil a blueprint to turn the spotlight on to the appalling state of Aboriginal male health.
From The Australia August 8 Please note the spelling of indigenous in this article is the Australians
The Aboriginal Male Healthy Futures Blueprint 2013-2030, to be released in Canberra, argues a new strategy is needed to focus on men with specific programs and to overcome their reluctance to admit their ill health, particularly in front of women.
The 10-point blueprint says Aboriginal men, who suffer from a greater incidence of chronic disease and mental illness, do not enjoy the same access to quality health services as other Australians.
To bridge the gap by 2030, governments need specific programs to address mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention for Aboriginal men.
This could mean building male-only clinics or creating back door entrances for men to encourage their attendance and separate them from women. Governments need to not only recruit doctors and nurses to work in indigenous areas, but build a workforce of indigenous medics.
The blueprint will be launched today in Canberra at Ochre Day.
AVAILABLE FROM NACCHO WEBSITE at 12.30 pm
NACCHO chairman Justin Mohamed said Aboriginal male health needed to be a priority and the blueprint provided a way forward. “The importance of having a blueprint for Aboriginal male health cannot be overestimated, and NACCHO provides some strong directions and recommendations to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal males,” he told The Australian.
“To close the gap we need to see ongoing investment in community-controlled, comprehensive primary male health care — services that are culturally appropriate, accessible, affordable, good quality and innovative and respect and promote the rights of Aboriginal males, in urban, rural and remote areas. We need to ensure Aboriginal males have equal access to health services that are equal in standard to those enjoyed by other Australians, and to prioritise specific funding to address mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention for Aboriginal males.” He said the blueprint identified the need to address issues such as identity, culture, language and land, as well as violence, alcohol, employment and education.
“A quality Aboriginal health workforce is key to improving Aboriginal male health outcomes and attention needs to be given to the recruitment, retention, effectiveness and training of male health practitioners working within Aboriginal settings,” Mr Mohamed said. Addressing Aboriginal male health through indigenous-controlled bodies was the best chance to make a difference. Already such bodies treated just under half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
“We should not put up with the shocking statistics when it comes to Aboriginal male health. There are a range of things we can to address the risk factors,” he said