The Australian Government is taking another important step towards securing health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash has asked for work to begin on developing a plan for implementing the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
“The implementation plan is about ensuring we deliver real outcomes on the ground,” Minister Nash said at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Summit at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.
The Government is updating the Health Plan to reflect the Coalition’s approach and priorities in Indigenous affairs. In particular, the updated Plan will recognise the links between health and the key social determinants of education, employment and community safety.
“Higher education attainment, paid employment and safe communities are all connected with better health, and the Government is striving to ensure that these are delivered to improve the lives of Indigenous people nationally,” Minister Nash said.
“The Health Plan provides a useful framework to guide policy and programme development. However, Indigenous health will only be improved by concrete action on the ground.”
“The Government announced in the Budget that through a $94 million investment in Better Start to Life the Government will expand efforts in child and maternal health to support Indigenous children to be healthy and go to school”.
“The Government is committed to closing the gap by ending the cycle of disadvantage which starts with poor child health,” Minister Nash said.
“Focussing on the critical early years means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will get a positive foundation for life.”
As outlined in the Budget, the Australian Government will invest $3.1 billion in Indigenous specific health programmes and activities from 2014-15 to 2017-18 – an increase of more than $500 million compared to 2009-10 to 2012-13.