National initiatives to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy and to build the supporting health workforce will be discussed and debated at Health Workforce Australia’s (HWA) 2013 national conference in November.
The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is more than 10 years less than other Australians. In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation by 2031.
This commitment affects all health professionals and the way care is provided.
Greg Craven, Deputy Chair of the COAG Reform Council and Adrian Carson (pictured above ), Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, will take part in a panel discussion at HWA’s conference, Skilled and Flexible – The health workforce for Australia’s future.
The session will feature a discussion on the progress made to improve health outcomes to close this gap and how Australia is tracking against its commitment. Mr Craven will also focus on flexible service delivery and funding.
“Any effort to close the gap must acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers make an invaluable contribution,” HWA Acting Chief Executive Ian Crettenden said.
“They are often the first point of contact because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people find it easier to access healthcare services from someone who they can relate to, who understands them and their culture.”
Romlie Mokak, Chief Executive of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association, and Janine Milera (pictured above) , Chief Executive of the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, will reveal initiatives underway to help increase the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals in the Australian health workforce.
Murra Mullangari – Pathways Alive and Well is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health careers development program, established by the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association to encourage Indigenous senior secondary school students to remain in school and pursue health careers.
Ms Milera will describe initiatives to overcome the challenge of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being uncomfortable using mainstream healthcare services.
More than 50 local and international speakers will explore the latest ideas on leadership, innovation and workforce reform at the event at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 18 to 20 November.
Registrations are now open for this year’s conference.
Concession tickets cost $350 and full price tickets are $600.
To attend the conference and find out more visit www.hwa.gov.au/2013conference
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