” A top priority has been placed on ensuring local communities that are involved in receiving and providing primary healthcare have a strong voice throughout the process,’
Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt
A four-year $18.6 million evaluation into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary healthcare aims to produce sustained improvements in service delivery and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A main focus of the Federal Government program will be considering how Commonwealth investment in the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) links with the broader health system.
This is designed to help improve healthcare access and drive faster progress in closing the gap in health equality.
With $3.6 billion being invested in the IAHP across four years (2018–19 to 2021–22), this evaluation will help maximise the value and impact of health funding and guide program design.
The evaluation also aims to learn how well the primary healthcare system is working for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, demonstrate the difference the IAHP makes, and inform efforts to accelerate improvement in health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The evaluation will establish up to 20 location-based studies to collect information from various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services around the country.
‘The project is another important step in assessing the impact on First Peoples’ health from the provision of effective, high-quality, culturally appropriate healthcare,’ Minister Wyatt said.
According to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW), The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: 2015, 3% of the Australian population (just over 760,000 people) are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The report states that one in four (24%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 and over assessed their health as ‘fair or poor’ in 2012–13, making them 2.1 times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report such results.
The AIHW report also noted that 39% of the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians health outcomes can be explained by social determinants