NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Socialdeterminants and #Aboriginality : “Papunya-Parramatta comparison ” Could GST changes channel more funding to #remote communities “

 ” More effort needed to be put into calculating “indigeneity and need together”.

“It’s a problem that has to be solved given that more than 50 per cent of indigenous Australians are disadvantaged and probably 30 per cent (of those) extremely disadvantaged — you can’t get rid of indigeneity as an indicator,But the question is how to refine it.

The category of Indigenous in terms of distributing the money has become meaningless — proportionally, the Aboriginal population is doing well on the east coast, and as a population is doing extremely badly in central Australia.”

The Papunya-Parramatta comparison was “a good argument”

Indigenous academic Marcia Langton 

FROM Todays The Australian

See previous NACCHO Press Release 8 January 2018

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Housing and #Socialdeterminants Debate : @NACCHOChair urges Federal Government to invest in remote housing

Changes to the definition of Aboriginality in distributing GST revenue to states and territories are being considered by the Productivity Commission, with a proposal to better prioritise the needs of especially disadvantaged remote communities that would dramatically rewrite a 30-year-old system.

The proposal is contained in a GST review submission by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, which declares “illiterate, welfare-­dependent families in Papunya clearly should rate higher than a double-income, university-­educated family living in their own home in Parramatta”.

The submission suggests that a steady rise in the number of people in the nation’s south identifying as Aboriginal has left the Northern Territory at a demographic disadvantage, with a ­“declining share of the national indigenous population” drawing money away from the “desperate need” in its remote areas.

As it currently stands, “indigeneity” is a factor that can attract more funding in the complex GST redistribution equations used by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

The submission has the backing of former Liberal deputy leader and Aboriginal affairs minister Fred Chaney, indigenous academic Marcia Langton and others. Professor Langton said the submission, which will be part of a report presented to government in May addressing the horizontal fiscal equalisation regime that redistributes GST revenue to the states and territories, demonstrated more effort needed to be put into calculating “indigeneity and need together”.

“It’d be an outrage if I were to say ‘I’m indigenous (so) I’m disadvantaged’ — it’d be ridiculous. How can people disagree with that notion?”

The CGC determines each year how much state and territory spending is attributable to indigenous programs under six broad headings: schools, health, welfare, housing, justice and service to communities.

However, Professor Langton suggested alternative markers such as high household occupancy rates and chronic disease rates could be more practical than a simple “indigenous” category.

“The (GST) process was invented 30 years ago and for many years was a good system and made sense when all indigenous people were highly disadvantaged, but things have changed and the measurement tools are not keeping up with the changes,” she said.

“It could be something as ­simple as number of people per room — the average on discrete Aboriginal communities in the NT, of which there are 73, is eight or nine per room, which far exceeds the general Australian number, so you could have a number of very powerful indi­cators like that run together,” she said.

Mr Chaney, who served as Aboriginal affairs minister in the Fraser government, said that while it was a “perfectly legitimate and understandable trend” that the Aboriginal population was increasing nationally through self-identification and marriage rather than birth rate, the statistics did not differentiate sufficiently.

“It’s not a headcount matter, it’s much more a locational matter,” he said. “If the funds available are affected by numerical Aboriginal populations then there is a distortion around need.”

GST receipts are lowest in Western Australia, which will receive 34c for every dollar this year, while South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will receive $1.44, $1.80 and $4.66 respectively.

A 2012 review, to coincide with that year’s census results, showed that indigeneity had historically been the biggest influence on GST distribution, for a total that year of $2360 million or 42 per cent of the total. A similar review will be presented within weeks based on last year’s results.

States and territories are not required, however, to spend the money they receive in line with the CGC’s findings.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Housing and #Socialdeterminants Debate : @NACCHOChair urges Federal Government to invest in remote housing

Closing the Gap in health disadvantage requires action on many fronts.

One of these is to improve living conditions for Indigenous people. Housing facilities needs to improve to raise Indigenous health outcomes.

I have been to many communities where the housing for Indigenous people is actually a driver of poor health and creates a cycle of disadvantage .

 Ministers from South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia have recently expressed concern that the Federal government will not renew the current Commonwealth State funding agreement for Indigenous Housing.

We call on the Federal government to invest in remote Indigenous housing.”

 Mr John Singer, Chairperson of NACCHO see in full Part 1 below

Picture above : The community of Mimili in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, an Aboriginal local government area in northwest South Australia. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

Download the NACCHO Press Release HERE

NACCHO URGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO INVEST IN INDIGENOUS HOUSING 5 2018

 

 ” The Federal Coalition Government of Malcolm Turnbull has turned its back on the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing (NPARH) – leaving Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland facing a funding shortfall totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The pre-Christmas decision of Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion leaves some of Australia’s most vulnerable communities with dramatically reduced funding for housing and other essential services – creating an increased risk of marginalisation.

Notably, the decision flies in the face of the Commonwealth’s own review into remote housing and directly contravenes the ‘Closing the Gap’ report which clearly states that safe and appropriate housing is fundamental to achieving the COAG targets.

The Commonwealth had previously committed $776 million over two years to the NPARH but will now only fund the Northern Territory component of the agreement. Mr Scullion is a NT Senator. “

Download the WA QLD and SA press release or read in full Part 2 below

21 Dec Combined WA QLD SA Response to Aboriginal Housing CRISIS

”  Any decision to cut funding by the Turnbull government will contribute to an increase in chronic disease, and inevitably lead to poorer health outcomes, more indigenous deaths and widening of the gap between the general community and indigenous communities.

Safe and healthy housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of all Australians and contributes to providing shelter, privacy, safety and security, supports health and education, and has a significant impact on workforce participation.

Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Nigel Scullion must take immediate steps to ensure the continuation of funding for remote and indigenous housing. Failure to do so will be another example of a government that is out of touch and only concerned with their internal disputes and dysfunction.

Rather than $65 billion in tax cuts for big business and the banks, the Turnbull government should immediately commit to the recommendations in its own report and close the gap by continuing funding of the National Partnership on Remote Housing.”

Download Federal Labor Party press release or read in full part 3 below  

22 Dec Federal Labor Response to Aboriginal Housing CRISIS

We share the concern of state governments, the Close the Gap campaign and the National Congress of First Peoples at the recent cuts by the Australian Government to the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing’

The cut will see funding from the federal government drop from $776 million over two years to just $100 million, with that $100 million going only to the Northern Territory.

Our major concern is that overcrowded housing in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is the primary cause of rheumatic fever in Australia.

Indigenous Australians suffer from this completely preventable disease at 26 times the rate of non- Indigenous Australians. Australia is one of the few countries in the world where rheumatic fever is still a serious problem, and it’s a national disgrace.”

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association Strategic Programs Director Dr Chris Bourke

Full Press Release 22 Dec AHHA Response to Aboriginal Housing CRISIS

 ” Misleading and outrageous statements from Western Australian Labor Housing Minister Peter Tinley as well as South Australian Labor Housing Minister Zoe Bettison are undermining good faith negotiations between the Commonwealth and state governments about the future of remote housing.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said despite claims by the state Labor ministers, and despite the fact that housing still remains a state responsibility (last time we checked) no announcement or decision has been made by the Commonwealth Government to cease funding for remote housing.

“It is complete and utter nonsense to suggest that Commonwealth funding for housing is ceasing. This is a fiction created by certain Labor state ministers who are clearly trying to abrogate their own responsibility to their Indigenous housing tenants and it should be called out “

 Download Minister Nigel Scullion Press Release or read in full Part 4 Below

21 Dec Response from Minister Scullion Aboriginal Housung Crisis

Part 1 NACCHO press release 8 January 2018

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) which represents 143 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across Australia today urged the Federal government to invest in remote Indigenous housing.

Mr John Singer, Chairperson of NACCHO said, “the recent review of the current agreement provided to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet highlights the key role of safe and effective housing for Indigenous health.

In fact, it makes this point in its very first sentence,” said John Singer. The review documents progress in the provision of Indigenous housing by the current funding agreement.

It stresses the need for funded long-term maintenance programs to sustain the gains made as well as further investment to address the continued need.

It also proposes ways to better monitor whether new funding is making a difference.

As acknowledged by the Turnbull government last month in their publication My Life, My Lead housing is just one well known and understood social cultural determinant factor along with education, employment, justice and income that impact on a person’s health and wellbeing at each stage of life.

“NACCHO believes that the evidence both in Australia and from international experts such as the UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples is very clear, that a lack of adequate and functional housing as well as overcrowding remains a significant impediment to improving all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It is critical to fix this situation now,” said John Singer

Background 1 : My Life My Lead – Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health: Report on the national consultations December 2017, 2017 Commonwealth of Australia December 2017.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : @KenWyattMP #MyLifeMyLead Report: Tackling #SocialDeterminants and Strengthening Culture Key to Improving #Indigenous Health

 Background 2 : Housing Issues Background ( PMC Charts above )

SOURCE PMC

Housing is an important mediating factor for health and wellbeing. Functional housing encompasses basic services/facilities, infrastructure and habitability.

These factors combined enable households to carry out healthy living practices including waste removal; maintaining cleanliness through washing people, clothing and bedding; managing environmental risk factors such as electrical safety and temperature in the living environment; controlling air pollution for allergens; and preparing food safely (Bailie et al. 2006; Nganampa Health Council 1987; Department of Family and Community Services 2003).

Children who live in a dwelling that is badly deteriorated have been found to have poorer physical health outcomes and social and emotional wellbeing compared with those growing up in a dwelling in excellent condition (Dockery et al. 2013).

Comparisons between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) show improvements in housing can be expected to translate into gains for Indigenous children’s health, social and learning outcomes (Dockery et al. 2013).

As expected, housing variables are closely associated with socio­ economic status, including: crowding, renting rather than owning, and being in financial stress (see measures 2.01 and 2.08).

Infectious diseases are more common in households with poor housing conditions. For example, trachoma and acute rheumatic fever are present almost exclusively in the Indigenous population in remote areas (see measures 1.06 and 1.16). Domestic infrastructure, along with overcrowding and exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of otitis media in children (Jervis-Bardy et al. 2014) (see measures 1.15, 2.01 and 2.03).

Background 3  NPARIH/NPARH

  • The Commonwealth Government provided $5.4 billion over ten years to 2018 through the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and the National Partnership for Remote Housing. This was a one-off National Partnership Agreement to assist states to undertake their own responsibilities for the delivery of housing to reduce overcrowding and increase housing amenity.
  • Expires 30 June 2018

Part 2 WA SA and QLD Govt : Commonwealth abandons indigenous Australia; axes remote housing deal

  • ​Federal Government’s decision will create a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars
  • States demand Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister reverse decision
  • McGowan Government calls on Federal WA Ministers, Julie Bishop, Christian Porter, Mathias Cormann and Michaelia Cash to exert influence in Turnbull Cabinet

The Federal Coalition Government of Malcolm Turnbull has turned its back on the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing (NPARH) – leaving Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland facing a funding shortfall totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The pre-Christmas decision of Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion leaves some of Australia’s most vulnerable communities with dramatically reduced funding for housing and other essential services – creating an increased risk of marginalisation.

Notably, the decision flies in the face of the Commonwealth’s own review into remote housing and directly contravenes the ‘Closing the Gap’ report which clearly states that safe and appropriate housing is fundamental to achieving the COAG targets.

The Commonwealth had previously committed $776 million over two years to the NPARH but will now only fund the Northern Territory component of the agreement. Mr Scullion is a NT Senator.

Housing Minister Peter Tinley has demanded senior figures in the Turnbull Cabinet from WA – notably Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Attorney-General Christian Porter, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt, as well as WA’s Nationals Party, stand up for their State and get the decision reversed.

The original 10-year NPARH, brokered by the Federal Labor Rudd government, has seen an average annual Federal Government contribution of about $100 million to WA.

A recent expert panel review commissioned by the Federal Government acknowledged the Federal Government had an ongoing role as a key funding partner with the States and Territory for housing in remote communities.

Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:

“This latest decision, especially the way the Turnbull Government has tried to sneak it through during the festive season, is absolutely appalling and demonstrates its lack of concern for indigenous Australia.

“The Commonwealth has a responsibility to support Australians living in isolated and remote areas. They cannot just walk away from this duty of care.

“This situation is yet another test for those Western Australian MPs with senior positions in the Turnbull Cabinet who are habitually missing in action when it comes to protecting the interests of WA.

“Further, all Western Australian Nationals MPs, both State and Federal, need to stand up for regional WA and send a clear message to their Canberra colleagues that these cuts are unacceptable. WA Nationals leader Mia Davies must outline her position.

“I sincerely hope the Liberals and Nationals will step up their game and get this decision reversed.

“The McGowan Government inherited a financial disaster from the previous Liberal National Government that governed WA so incompetently for eight years.

“Because of that mess, there is no way we can afford to pick up a funding shortfall from the Commonwealth that will equate to hundreds of millions of dollars over the coming years.

“The Commonwealth has a responsibility to help fund essential services in remote communities and in doing so to protect an important element of our national cultural heritage.

“If Turnbull, Scullion and the rest of them fail to fulfil this fundamental duty they will be demonstrating to the entire nation, and to other countries around the globe, exactly how much they value Australia’s First People.”

Part 3 Federal Labour CUTTING REMOTE HOUSING FUNDING UNFAIR AND UNJUSTIFIED

Media reports and comments by the Western Australian Housing Minister Peter Tinley indicate that the Turnbull government is proposing massive cuts to the National Partnership on Remote Housing, which has replaced the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and the Remote Housing Strategy (2008- 2018).

The reports indicate that the financial commitment by the Commonwealth will be reduced from $776 million to $100 million and will only be available to remote communities in the Northern Territory.

The Turnbull government must immediately clarify these reports and, if true, reconsider this cruel and outrageous cut to housing and homelessness funding in remote and indigenous communities.

In recognition of the serious problems in indigenous housing, $5.4 billion of funding has been invested since 2008 by Commonwealth governments in an attempt to close the gap in indigenous housing.

The Turnbull government’s own remote housing review demonstrated that this long term strategy had delivered over 11,500 more liveable homes in remote Australia, 4000 new houses, and 7500 refurbishments. This has resulted in a significant but necessary decrease in the proportion of overcrowded households.

The report also estimates that an additional 5500 homes are required by 2028 to reduce levels of overcrowding in remote areas to acceptable levels. The report shows that 1,100 properties are required in Queensland, 1,350 in Western Australia, and 300 in South Australia by 2028 to address overcrowding and meet population growth.

“If these reports are true, remote communities in Western Australia will continue to be overcrowded for the decade to come,” Senator Dodson said.

The report debunks the myth that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families cause the majority of damage to remote indigenous housing. The report shows that only nine percent of household damage is caused by tenants, with the majority of damage coming from lack of programmed maintenance and in 25 per cent of cases the cause is poor specifications or faulty workmanship in the original build.

Rather than cutting funding, the Turnbull government’s own report has concluded that capital plans should be set for a minimum five years. This is on the basis that government procurement practices would support small, emerging businesses, and provide greater opportunities for training and employment of local people.

Key recommendations to the government in the report include:

  • That there be a recurrent program funded to maintain existing houses, preserve functionality and increase the life of housing assets.
  • The costs of a remote Indigenous housing program to be shared 50:50 between the Commonwealth and the other jurisdictions.
  • Investment for an additional 5500 houses by 2028 is needed to continue efforts on closing the gap on indigenous disadvantage.
  • Additional recommendations include improved governance structures, increased transparency, the development of the local workforce, and tenancy education programs.

The report also found overcrowding and poor quality housing leads to poor health outcomes and makes it harder to manage chronic disease. In addition, the report indicates that indigenous communities experience high rates of infectious diseases.

As such, any decision to cut funding by the Turnbull government will contribute to an increase in chronic disease, and inevitably lead to poorer health outcomes, more indigenous deaths and widening of the gap between the general community and indigenous communities.

Safe and healthy housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of all Australians and contributes to providing shelter, privacy, safety and security, supports health and education, and has a significant impact on workforce participation.

Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Nigel Scullion must take immediate steps to ensure the continuation of funding for remote and indigenous housing. Failure to do so will beanother example of a government that is out of touch and only concerned with their internal disputes and dysfunction.

Rather than $65 billion in tax cuts for big business and the banks, the Turnbull government should immediately commit to the recommendations in its own report and close the gap by continuing funding of the National Partnership on Remote Housing.

Part 4 Minister Scullion More Labor lies on remote housing

Thursday 21 December 2017
Misleading and outrageous statements from Western Australian Labor Housing Minister Peter Tinley as well as South Australian Labor Housing Minister Zoe Bettison are undermining good faith negotiations between the Commonwealth and state governments about the future of remote housing.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said despite claims by the state Labor ministers, and despite the fact that housing still remains a state responsibility (last time we checked) no announcement or decision has been made by the Commonwealth Government to cease funding for remote housing.

“It is complete and utter nonsense to suggest that Commonwealth funding for housing is ceasing. This is a fiction created by certain Labor state ministers who are clearly trying to abrogate their own responsibility to their Indigenous housing tenants and it should be called out for what this is,” Minister Scullion said today.

“In fact, the Commonwealth commenced discussions with Western Australian Government officials only yesterday about a future funding contribution to remote Indigenous housing – clearly the hapless Peter Tinley is unaware of what his own department is doing.

“It is disappointing that after the first day of discussion, this incompetent Minister has decided to play politics rather than work cooperatively on future funding arrangements.

“The Commonwealth already supports public housing, which is a state and territory responsibility, to the tune of $6 billion per year including $1.5 billion per annum in direct payments to states and around $4.5bn per annum through Commonwealth rent assistance.

“The states should prioritise some of the social housing funding for remote Indigenous residents. Why is there one standard for Indigenous residents and another for non-Indigenous residents?

“The National Partnership on Remote Housing was always scheduled to cease on 30 June 2018. Under the NPARH the Commonwealth paid the states $5.4 billion to reduce overcrowding yet they abjectly failed to achieve this – this is why we are once again in negotiation with the states.

“But the Commonwealth does not believe that the Western Australian Government should not take it’s responsibility for housing in Indigenous communities just like it does for housing of every other citizen in its state.

“Why is there one approach for Indigenous citizens and another for every other community?”

In contrast, the Northern Territory Government has taken responsibility and committed ongoing funding to remote Indigenous housing. That commitment, and the severe overcrowding in the Northern Territory, has meant the Commonwealth has been able to offer longer term funding.

Instead of playing politics with ‘indigenous Australia’, Peter Tinley and Zoe Bettison should take the time to work constructively with the Commonwealth on future funding arrangements.

Background on NPARIH/NPARH

  • The Commonwealth Government provided $5.4 billion over ten years to 2018 through the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing and the National Partnership for Remote Housing. This was a one-off National Partnership Agreement to assist states to undertake their own responsibilities for the delivery of housing to reduce overcrowding and increase housing amenity.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : @KenWyattMP #MyLifeMyLead Report: Tackling #SocialDeterminants and Strengthening Culture Key to Improving #Indigenous Health

“My Life My Lead is an opportunity to build on the work we are doing and the progress we have made, for instance in cutting smoking, reducing infant mortality and chronic disease deaths, and achieving higher immunisation rates.

Seven priority areas have been identified in My Life My Lead, which will be integral to the next iteration of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. It will also help inform our Closing the Gap refresh agenda.

While governments have a critical role in setting policies and implementing programs, true and lasting gains are made when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a say in those areas that impact on their health and wellbeing.”

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM

The Turnbull Government has released ( December 21 2017 ) results of national consultations that highlight the importance of culture and tackling the social determinants of health, to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said the wide-ranging My Life My Lead: Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous health (My Life My Lead) report will help inform the whole-of-government approach to better Indigenous health.

 The seven priorities are:

    1. Culture at the centre of change
    2. Success and wellbeing for health through employment
    3. Foundations for a healthy life
    4. Environmental health
    5. Healthy living and strong communities
    6. Health service access
    7. Health and opportunity through education

Report

My Life My Lead: Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous Health: Report on the national consultations December 2017 – PDF 4.7 MB

My Life My Lead: Opportunities for strengthening approaches to the social determinants and cultural determinants of Indigenous Health: Report on the national consultations December 2017 – Word 13 MB

Infographics – PDFs only, these are available via the report in word and PDF

Priority Area One: Culture at the centre of change – PDF 413 KB
Priority Area Two: Success and wellbeing for health through employment – PDF 483 KB


Priority Area Three: Foundations for a health life – PDF 496 KB
Priority Area Four: Environmental health – PDF 479 KB


Priority Area Five: Healthy living and strong communities – PDF 464 KB
Priority Area Six: Health service access – PDF 515 KB
Priority Area Seven: Health and opportunity through education – PDF 517 KB

The report was compiled from wide-ranging community consultations conducted during March-May 2017. Approximately 600 people attended 13 forums across Australia, and more than 100 written submissions were received. The report was also informed by literature reviews.

“A consistent theme from the consultations was the importance of including parents, Elders and Aboriginal communities in maintaining our people’s connections with culture and country,” Minister Wyatt said.

“While governments have a critical role in setting policies and implementing programs, true and lasting gains are made when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a say in those areas that impact on their health and wellbeing.

“To have strong, healthy children who grow into healthy adults leading fulfilling and long lives, we need to have effective and accessible childhood health care and education, wrapped with positive employment, housing and economic development opportunities.”

Minister Wyatt extended his deep gratitude and respect to the hundreds of individuals and organisations who contributed to the consultations, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from so many parts of Australia, who often travelled significant distances to participate.

Copies of ‘My Life My Lead’ can be found at www.health.gov.au/mylifemylead

NACCHO Alert : Refresh #CloseTheGap Aboriginal Health targets in 2018 : How can you help to shape the future of the #ClosingtheGap agenda ?

 

” The national attempt to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage has largely failed and the Turnbull government is being warned that a proposed “refresh” of the scheme, intended to address its decade-long shortcomings, faces equally poor results.

Ten years after Kevin Rudd ­delivered the first prime minister’s Closing the Gap report to parliament, only one of seven targets is on track to be met, four more are due to expire in June with no hope of being achieved and all levels of government, as well as Indigenous leaders, are arguing over how to proceed.”

From the Australian 1 January 2018 see article in full Part 1 Below

 ” This is a great opportunity for people to share their ideas and opinions”

Andrea Mason, Co-Chair Indigenous Advisory Council and CEO of NPY Women’s Council

Share your views

Submissions close 5pm 31 March 2018

 ” The Australian Government, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), is asking all Australians for their views to help construct the next phase of the Closing the Gap agenda and has released a COAG discussion paper to support ongoing consultations that have been held this year and will continue into 2018.

Over the past decade, important progress has been made in improving health, employment and education outcomes for First Australians since Australian governments agreed to a Closing the Gap framework to address Indigenous disadvantage.

However, it is clear that the Closing the Gap agenda can be better designed and more effectively delivered. This is a view shared among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments and the broader community.”

Download the Discussion paper

ctg-next-phase-discussion-paper

Working together

Another step in this process is to consider how governments can improve program implementation. Six implementation principles have been developed to guide the new Closing the Gap agenda.

The principles are:

  • Funding prioritised to meet targets
  • Evidence-based programs and policies
  • Genuine collaboration between governments and communities
  • Programs and services tailored for communities
  • Shared decision-making
  • Clear roles, responsibilities and accountability

Fact sheets

Data for the fact sheets are based on the Closing the Gap Prime Minister’s Report 2017.

Targets

View Close the Gap Video from Indigenous leadership

Part 1 Closing the Gap: Indigenous targets mostly unmet

The poor result comes despite annual direct government spending on indigenous Australians of $33.4 billion, an increase of 23.7 per cent since the first expenditure survey when the program began and a figure twice that for non-indigenous Australians.

There are concerns that simply revising targets, rather than ­addressing policy failures responsible for the disadvantage gaps, will deepen the dire situation.

Indigenous leaders have urged Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider measures suggested in last year’s Uluru Statement from the Heart and presented to the Prime Minister in the Referendum Council’s subsequent report. They say the proposals, which include an indigenous advisory voice to parliament, would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a greater say in policies that affect them.

“The Uluru outcome was a sophisticated roadmap to closing the gap,” Referendum Council member and constitutional law expert Megan Davis told The Australian.

“The dialogues said politicians and the bureaucracy have shown after 10 years they are not up to it. Refresh isn’t a priority, ­reform is a priority, otherwise we will be subjected to the annual ritualism of Prime Minister’s reporting on little or no progress.”

The Australian can reveal that a coalition of concerned peak organisations and leaders has written to Mr Turnbull ahead of this year’s 10th annual report, expected next month, expressing their fears the reboot will merely reflect “the aspirations of the federal government” rather than the needs of First Peoples.

They say public consultation on the missed targets is being rushed, indigenous communities are not being adequately briefed on the process and a public discussion paper contains leading questions and foregone conclusions.

West Australian Labor senator Patrick Dodson was excluded from one consultation, in his home town of Broome, on the basis that he was a member of parliament — despite being a key ­indigenous leader in the region — raising questions about Mr Turnbull’s insistence the “voice” proposal was unnecessary since there were already indigenous MPs.

“They’ve just gone deaf,” Senator Dodson said yesterday. “There may be things about Uluru that are complicated and hard but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be going through them.”

The letter, on behalf of the “Redfern Statement Alliance” which includes the indigenous Close the Gap steering committee, warns that the government’s ­refresh discussion paper “was not developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders … is prescriptive and centres on the theme of ‘prosperity’ within a narrow economic frame”.

The only Closing the Gap target currently on track to be met is halving the gap for year 12 or equivalent attainment by 2020, currently tracking up from 45.4 per cent to 61.5 per cent from 2008 to 2014-15. The other failing targets are closing the gap in life expectancy by 2031 and having 95 per cent of indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.

Australian National University professor Nicholas Biddle said the 10-year program had brought some positives but warned that “targets alone don’t guarantee good policy”.

Cape York leader Noel Pearson has thrown his weight behind opposition to a purely targets-based focus, telling an audience last week the current approach amounted to “the political and cultural right bang(ing) on … about better health, better education, more responsibility, blah blah blah” without addressing “the structural problem” of a lack of policy participation.

Part 2 Shaping the future of the Closing the Gap agenda 

The Australian Government, on behalf of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), is asking all Australians for their views to help construct the next phase of the Closing the Gap agenda and has released a COAG discussion paper to support ongoing consultations that have been held this year and will continue into 2018.

Over the past decade, important progress has been made in improving health, employment and education outcomes for First Australians since Australian governments agreed to a Closing the Gap framework to address Indigenous disadvantage.

However, it is clear that the Closing the Gap agenda can be better designed and more effectively delivered. This is a view shared among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments and the broader community.

In 2008, the original Closing the Gap targets were developed without consultation from Indigenous Australians and without the direct involvement of state and territory governments – which meant targets were not as effective or as well directed as they should have been.

A new approach to Closing the Gap must value the aspirations, strengths and successes of First Australians. Importantly, it must be built on meaningful conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

New Closing the Gap targets will drive better outcomes for Indigenous communities because, for the first time, state and territory governments will establish targets in areas for which they are responsible and all targets will be designed to drive change, with specific action plans to support targets.

Consultations have been ongoing for a number of months including through specific roundtables held in Broome, Dubbo and Cairns in November and December 2017. More sessions are scheduled across the nation in the coming months. Consultations will also continue with national peak bodies, and regional and local engagements led by state and territory governments.

We are committed to working with First Australians, state and territory governments and the broader community to develop a meaningful and robust framework for the future, and encourage all Australians to share their views.

Visit closingthegaprefresh.pmc.gov.au to access the discussion paper and find out more.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health :The @AusHealthcare blueprint ‘Healthy people, healthy systems maps out how to give Australians a 21st century health system’

 

” We’re giving Health Ministers an early Christmas gift, over the past nine months Australian health leaders mapped out how to transform our healthcare system into a fit for purpose 21st century system that will meet the needs and expectations of Australians.

‘Healthy people, healthy systems is a solid blueprint with a range of short, medium and long term recommendations on how to reorientate our healthcare system to focus on patient outcomes and value rather than throughput and vested interests.”

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven. see Part 1 Below

Download Healthy people, healthy systems  ahha_blueprint_2017

 “For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, institutional racism in hospitals and health services fundamentally underpins racial inequalities in health.

It forms a barrier to accessing healthcare, and must be acknowledged and addressed in order to realise health equality.

A matrix has been developed for identifying, measuring and monitoring institutional racism. Simple and cost-effective to administer, research to date shows its value as both an internal and external assessment tool “

(Marrie & Marrie 2014). See Section 2 Performance information and reporting

“ The need for integrated care, workforce development and reform and a reorientation to primary and preventive care were central recommendations.

We would welcome more performance reporting on such measures as patient reported health outcomes and experiences of care and deeper examination of how that care will be delivered in the future and by whom.

“Prevention funding needs to be increased and to be explicitly tied to evidence-based interventions.

We strongly support many of the aims of the report Healthy people, healthy systems.”

CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells See Part 2 Below .

Great blueprint by AHHA  for a Post-2020 National Health Agreement. Fantastic to see it aligning with PHAA’s key principles of universal healthcare, a holistic view of health and well being, and health equity. ”

Public Health Association Australia

Part 1 AHHA Press Release

‘In 2018 Health Ministers and First Ministers will negotiate and agree new public hospital funding arrangements—if Ministers are committed to a healthy Australia supported by the best possible healthcare system they simply need to direct their health departments to begin rolling out the recommendations found in the blueprint.

‘Health Ministers must be more ambitious than agreeing what public hospital funding arrangements will look like after 2020. The health sector is adamant it’s time we move our system toward value-based care and away from more of the same and tinkering around the edges.

‘To do this we outline four steps with recommendations on governance arrangements, data and reporting that drives intelligent system design, health workforce reform and sustainable funding that is dependable yet innovative.

‘An independent national health authority distinct from Commonwealth, state and territory health departments  reporting directly to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) or the COAG Health Council would help take the politics and finger pointing out of health reform and allow for a nationally unified and regionally controlled health system.

‘Requiring all health service providers delivering government funded or reimbursed services to supply data on patient outcomes and other service provision dimensions will better inform system performance and help us move toward publicly available outcomes data that will empower patients to make informed choices about treatment options and providers.

‘A national health workforce reform strategy is required that goes beyond the supply and location of health practitioners and considers roles and responsibilities needed to achieve a health workforce that is flexible, competent, working to the top of their scope of practice, and actively participating in the design and delivery of health services.

‘Maintaining current Commonwealth funding levels for public hospitals, including the growth formula, will provide sustainable and appropriate support, but we need to be more innovative in our move toward value-based care. In the short term, trialling a mixed funding formula with a 25% component for achieved health outcomes relating to the top 4 chronic diseases is a start.

‘It’s time to step out of our comfort zones and transform fragmented healthcare in Australia. The blueprint’s recommendations are a good place to start. We thank the many health leaders, clinicians and consumers who have contributed to this work.’

For more information on AHHA, see: http://ahha.asn.au

To read the Healthy people, healthy systems. Strategies for outcome-focused and value-based healthcare: a blueprint for a post-2020 national health agreement, see: http://ahha.asn.au/blueprint

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s blueprint for a national health agreement as a much-need stimulus for a serious rethink of Australia’s health system.

“We strongly support many of the aims of the report Healthy people, healthy systems,”

the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells said.

“In too many corners of Australia’s health system, whether it be Medicare, primary care, prevention or health insurance, there is a lack of rigorous evaluation and less than optimal use of available data and knowledge to improve services.

“We back AHHA’s call for Australia to re-orientate the healthcare system over the next 10 years by enabling outcomes-focused and value-based health care,” Ms Wells said.

“We agree that the national hospitals agreement requires reform, that it, should be negotiated for the longer-term and that we need much better coordination and integration to promote consumer-centred health care.

“While there is undoubtedly a pressing need for a more nationally cohesive leadership and administration of health, we are not sure a national health authority as prescribed by AHHA would achieve this.  It could risk imposing another layer of management and decision-making with no certainty of any benefit.

“On the other hand, moves to greater regional coordination of health services, is the best way to achieve integrated locally responsive services. We know that integration is best achieved when decisions about how services are configured and organised are taken as close to the point of care delivery as possible by people who know and understand local services and need.  Joint planning, funds pooling and joint commissioning by PHNs and LHDs should be actively explored.

“We would urge governments to note the consistency of advice coming from Australian health leaders about how we can strengthen and improve our health system.

CHF presented an Issues Paper containing our ideas for health system improvements to Minister Hunt at our Consumer and Community Roundtable in August, see:

https://chf.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/chf_ministerial_roundatble_issues_paper_final.pdf

“The need for integrated care, workforce development and reform and a reorientation to primary and preventive care were central recommendations.

“We would welcome more performance reporting on such measures as patient reported health outcomes and experiences of care and deeper examination of how that care will be delivered in the future and by whom.

“Prevention funding needs to be increased and to be explicitly tied to evidence-based interventions.

“AHHA’s chair, Dr Deborah Cole, states that if there is a genuine commitment to delivering patient-centred care that improves health outcomes, consumers must be genuinely engaged in co-designing services and how the entire health system functions across hospitals, primary healthcare and prevention activities.

“We fully agree and hope all health leaders would actively support that rationale.  Only when we involve consumer insights in planning and evaluation will achieve better health, better experience of care and better value care” Ms Wells said.

The Healthy people, healthy systems report is at:

http://ahha.asn.au/sites/default/files/docs/policy-issue/ahha_blueprint_2017.pdf

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Alcohol : @healthgovau National Alcohol strategy 2018-2026 for public consultation Closes 11 February 2018

” The National Alcohol Strategy 2018- 2026 outlines Australia’s agreed approach to preventing and minimising alcohol-related harms.

The National Alcohol Strategy provides a national framework and highlights a number of opportunities for action under each of the priority areas of focus.

These opportunities are examples of activities or initiatives that could be considered at either local, jurisdictional (state and territory) or national levels, including a mix of broad population approaches and targeted approaches.”

Download a draft copy

Consultation Draft National Alcohol Strategy 2018-2026

Consultation closes 11 February 2018

The Department of Health has opened a public consultation process, and is inviting stakeholders and the general public to provide feedback on the National alcohol strategy 2018-2026.

See Website

As a sub-strategy of the National drug strategy 2017-2026, the National alcohol strategy is overseen by the Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum. The Forum consists of Ministers from across Australia with responsibility for alcohol and other drug policy  from the health and justice/law enforcement portfolios from each jurisdiction.

On 27 November 2017, members agreed that the draft National alcohol strategy will undergo a public consultation process to further inform the strategic direction and priorities of the strategy.

The online submission process is now open and will close on 11 February 2018. Feedback from the consultation will be considered by the Ministers at their next meeting in 2018, and the strategy revised.

To lodge a submission, please email nationaldrugstrategy@health.gov.au.

Disproportionate Impacts of Alcohol-Related Harm

This Strategy recognises that alcohol-related harms are not experienced uniformly across the population, with disproportionate levels of harm being experienced within some contexts and communities.

Read over 190 NACCHO Articles Alcohol and other Drugs posted over the past 5 years

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (31% compared with 23% respectively). However, among those who did drink, higher proportions drank at risky levels (20% exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines) and were more likely to experience alcohol-related injury than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (35% compared to 25% monthly, respectively).26

For this reason, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer from disproportionate levels of harm from alcohol, including alcohol-related mortality rates that are 4.9 times higher than among non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.27

The poorer overall health, social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also significant factors which can influence drinking behaviours.28

People in remote areas

People residing in remote areas have reported drinking alcohol in quantities that place them at risk of harm at higher levels that those living in less remote regions.

People in remote and very remote areas were 1.5 times as likely as people in major cities to consume 5 or more drinks at least monthly and 2.4 times as likely to consume 11 or more drinks

Pregnant women (or those planning a pregnancy)

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in birth defects and behavioural and neurodevelopmental abnormalities including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Data from states and territories have estimated FASD rates at 0.01 to 1.7 per 1000 births in the total population and 0.15 to 4.70 per 1000 births for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.31 There is evidence that indicates some communities are experiencing much higher incidences of FASD and therefore the lifelong impacts of FASD.32

The relationship between the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy and the expression of FASD is complex, but avoiding drinking before or during pregnancy eliminates the risk of FASD.

Around 1 in 2 women report consuming alcohol during their pregnancy, with 1 in 4 women continuing to drink after they are aware they are pregnant. Of these women, 81% drank monthly or less with 16.2% drinking 2–4 times a month.33

Background

The Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum is co-Chaired by the Commonwealth Ministers with portfolio responsibility for alcohol and other drugs (AOD), and justice/law enforcement.

Membership consists of two Ministers from each jurisdiction, one each from the health/community services portfolios (with AOD policy responsibilities) and one from the justice/law enforcement portfolios.

The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments have a shared responsibility to build safe and healthy communities through the collaborative delivery and implementation of national strategic frameworks to reduce AOD related harms for all Australians.

The Forum will be supported by the National Drug Strategy Committee (NDSC) in the implementation and monitoring of these national strategic frameworks.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #MenziesOration2017 by Professor Ian Anderson AO Democratising Indigenous Data

 

 ” Democratised data is key to unlocking genuine regional empowerment in people taking responsibility for their own futures

We are committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Establishing data governance arrangements will be important.

We need to engage fully with Indigenous Australians in the process of developing, designing, collecting and utilising data.

We need to place a greater emphasis on the use of regional data.  This will allow communities to take ownership of placed based actions and to hold governments and service providers to account.

We also need to look at ways to improve data access while at the same time always ensuring individual privacy is maintained.

Improved access to data can help drive research, and help build an evidence base to support and drive policy that improves outcomes for First Australians.

We know a one-size-fits-all approach is not the most effective way to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It will put behind us the negative mindset, replacing it with a positive narrative focused on enabling Indigenous Australians to lead lives they value while at the same time ”

 The 2017 Menzies Oration delivered by Professor Ian Anderson AO. Speaking about ‘Democratising Data/Building a platform for Indigenous Development’. Darwin NT Friday 24 November
Introduction

Ya Pulingina. Pangkerner Ian Anderson Palawa Trowunna: Trawlwoolway, Pairrebenne, Plairmairrerenner. Kartoometer mynee larrakia teeanner. Carnee meenee nenener nicer Lanena.

I would like to thank the Menzies School of Health Research and Director, Professor Alan Cass, for inviting me to speak tonight and for hosting this event.

It is a great honour to deliver the 2017 Menzies Oration.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Menzies School of Health Research for its ongoing commitment to examining and understanding Indigenous health. Research undertaken by the school has made a significant contribution in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.

I would also like acknowledge the many distinguished guests attending today:

  • the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory;
  • Professor Lawrence Cram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Research and Research Training; and
  • Professor Alan Cass, Director of the Menzies School of Health Research

Today, I would like to discuss the importance of data within the policy context.

Data can be an extraordinarily powerful tool.

Data shapes so much of our society. Governments, businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals all use data to inform their decision-making.

We live in a data age.

The Australian Productivity Commission in their inquiry on Data Availability and Use drew on IBM estimates [1]:

‘the amount of digital data generated globally in 2002 (five terabytes) is now generated every two days, with 90% of the world’s information generated in just the past two years’

In addition to significant growth in the amount of data being collected, we also have the opportunity to better use our data assets.  We have more sophisticated technologies to analyse and integrate data—in fact, we are also able to analyse more data, more quickly at lower cost.

By way of example, decoding the human genome involves analysing 3 billion base pairs—when this was first done in 2003, it had taken over 13 years at a reported cost of around $1 billion. Presently, it can be done in a day at a cost of approximately $3,000. [2]

Many people here tonight are in some way involved in the production of data. You might collect data as part of service delivery or part of a research project, analyse data to build information and evidence, or use this information and evidence to make policy decisions.

Data collected through research, survey and census or from the administration of government programs and activities, has played an important role in guiding policy and practice, particularly in Indigenous affairs.

Public data is a national asset. However, its value is only realised when data is transformed into information, and more importantly knowledge.

Data can help shape debate, identify areas of need, and be used to analyse the effectiveness of policy and other actions.

But, for this to occur, the data must be of high quality and we must collect the right data. Moreover, it must be accessible to all. I would also like to stress that data is not useful in isolation and must be combined with the skills and capabilities to make the most of it.

Democratising data – Data and Indigenous peoples, changing approaches

Now, in using the phrase—democratising data—I am signalling a change agenda to create the systems and platforms that ensure end-users are able to access data in a timely way. One that is relevant to a wider audience and allows data to be used.

The availability of data on Indigenous Australia has reflected broader politics.

It is reasonable to infer that in the late 19th century when representatives of the then six British colonies—New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania—came together to draft up Australia’s constitution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were not factored in.

It is probable that those who considered how the soon-to-be-federated country might operate did not want to include Indigenous people in financing arrangements for the states, or for the development of services or planning purposes.

It is also possible the founding fathers of the Australian federation did not think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were long for this world. That they were a dying race.

Under such scenarios, there would have been no need for information about Australia’s Indigenous population to be collated. The ‘race’ clauses included in our original constitution reflect this.

It was not until the successful 1967 referendum that paved the way for the Commonwealth to take on responsibility for the administration of Indigenous Affairs at a national level that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were formally included in our population counts. This marked the start of the first phase of Indigenous data development in Australia.

In the years that have followed, data sets concerning Indigenous Australians have slowly been built up. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, for example, has developed a clear picture of the lives and experiences of Indigenous Australians.

Over the past three to four decades, significant improvements have been made in the availability and quality of Indigenous data.

This includes Indigenous data obtained through our national survey program run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Equally important has been the collection of vital statistics—such as, data on births and deaths, hospital data and Medicare data.

However, the most significant innovation over the last two decades has been the development of performance measurement systems. These systems draw on data made available through our data collections systems. They have been developed with the specific purpose of enhancing policy decision making processes.

Perhaps one of the most sophisticated data sets relating to Australia’s Indigenous population can be found in the Indigenous health sector.

The move earlier this century to start strategically using data through vehicles such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework reports marked the beginning of the second phase of Indigenous data development in this country.

The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework report was produced in 2006. Commissioned by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC), the data in these reports, updated every two years, and has been used by Australia’s political leaders to inform their decision-making in Indigenous Affairs.

Data is collated across three tiers: health status and outcomes; determinants of health; and health systems measures. Significantly, the measures had strategic value and ‘buy in’ from the states and territories.

The data contained in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework played a pivotal role in the decision by the Council of Australian Governments to allocate resources in 2008 to address Indigenous disadvantage. However, just as importantly, the data informed where the resources would be allocated.

The collation, analysis and strategic use of Indigenous data by our political leaders is one thing—I will discuss this further when I describe our proposed approach to the refresh of Close the Gap—but making data accessible and relevant to a wider audience—and in this case, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—is another thing altogether.

Too often, data is not presented in a way that is accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Furthermore, it is interpreted in a way that is not connected to Indigenous reality.

Our apologies that we cannot publish the full oration speech here :

Read in Full Here

https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/indigenous-affairs/2017-menzies-oration-democratising-indigenous-data

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #sugar and #Sugardemic : Todays meeting of Health Ministers is a real chance to improve #HealthStarRatings for our mob

Sugar

 ” Right now, there’s a Sugardemic threatening the health of our kids, with skyrocketing rates of obesity threatening to make this generation the first one to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.

But the food industry tries to bamboozle us with dozens of different names for sugar.  Busy shoppers can’t tell at a glance how much added sugar is in their food. It’s time for clear labeling of added sugar.

Health ministers from around the country will meet today November 24. This is our chance to get real change.

For once, it would be nice for the Health Ministers to make a decision that favours public health rather than the food manufacturers. “

See Choice Campaign

A1

” The consumption of sugar is much higher in Indigenous populations. In fact, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consume 15 grams (almost 4 teaspoons) more free sugars on average than non-Indigenous people.

Beverages is the most common source of free sugar for both populations. Two thirds of all the free sugars consumed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people came from beverages, mostly in the form of soft drinks, sports and energy drinks. “

See over 30 NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Nutrition # sugartax articles

 

Adr M

 ” The Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla campaign is a social marketing campaign developed with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Cape York. It aims to help children, young people and adults be more aware of the poor health outcomes associated with consumption of sugary drinks, as recommended by community members during initial consultations for this project.

Regular consumption of sugary drinks is a key contributing factor in development of tooth decay, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease for both young people and adults. 1-4

One of the key messages of this campaign is water is the best drink for everyone – it doesn’t have any sugar and keeps our bodies healthy.

The Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla campaign materials are designed to encourage Cape York community members to rethink drink choices and choose water or healthier options instead of sugary drinks like soft drinks, fruit drinks and sports drinks. This will help keep kids, families and communities healthy and strong. Campaign materials feature former professional rugby league player, Scott Prince, promoting the Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla messages.

This Cape York campaign is linked to the national Rethink Sugary Drink campaign through Apunipima’s membership of the Rethink Sugary Drinks Alliance. The Alliance aims to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened drinks and encourages all Australians to reduce their consumption.

untitledThe  ” PHAA is inviting members and other interested parties to a Forum on improving the Health Star Rating (HSR) on Monday 27 November 2017 at Mercure Canberra.

Most importantly, the overall goal will be to consider ways that the HSR can be used to improve diets in Australia and New Zealand.

More Info Here as

In Australia, food labels will only tell you the total sugar in a product, not the added stuff. And you can’t rely on the ingredient list because there are over 43 different names for added sugar.

It’s essential that people can easily tell the difference between foods with naturally occurring sugars, like lactose in yoghurt, and added sugars which have virtually no nutritional benefits. Currently this is virtually impossible.

The World Health Organisation and our Dietary Guidelines recommend we reduce our added sugar intake on the basis that overconsumption of added sugars presents serious health issues.

A CHOICE investigation found that added sugar labelling could help consumers avoid 26 teaspoons of unnecessary sugar per day – that’s up to 38 kilograms a year!

At their most recent meeting, Food Ministers renewed their commitment to improve the health of Australians. They want to help people make healthy food choices. Sugar labelling is a necessary step to achieving this.

Asugar 

 ” Aboriginal , Consumer and Public Health organisations are calling on Health Ministers to make a decision at their meeting today November 24, to ensure that food companies are required to clearly label added sugar on their products.”

Matthew Hopcraft is a clinical associate professor, dental public health expert, co-founder of SugarFree Smiles and the CEO of the Australian Dental Association (Victorian Branch). 

So far, more than 20,000 people have contacted their State or Territory Health Minister calling on them to support added sugar labelling (data collected by Choice).

This is a critical issue. The average Australian teenager consumes up to 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and one in 10 teenagers has a staggering 38 teaspoons of sugar daily. No wonder diet-related diseases are so prevalent. One third of Australian children have tooth decay by the age of six, rising to 40 percent by the age of 12-14 years, and one in four children are overweight or obese.

The problem for consumers is that there is no way for them to know how much added sugar is in the foods that they buy. The ingredient list on the packet seems like a good place to start — the higher up the list, the more sugar it is likely to contain. But added sugar can be disguised on the label under more than 40 different names, making it hard for the consumer to decipher.

We probably all know that sugar, sucrose and glucose are sugars. But do we really know or think of honey, fruit juice concentrate, agave nectar, panela, maltose or rice syrup as added sugars? Furthermore, the nutrition panel doesn’t distinguish added sugars from those sugars that are naturally occurring in food, such as fructose in fruit or lactose in milk.

It is this added sugar, over and above the naturally occurring sugar, that is causing these health problems. This was clearly identified by the World Health Organisation in their report on added sugars in 2015. They showed good evidence that reducing the amount of added sugar to less than 12 teaspoons per day reduces the risk of obesity and tooth decay, and a further reduction to less than six teaspoons per day would provide additional health benefits.

At present it is almost impossible for consumers to know whether they are exceeding these limits, because there is not sufficient information on the food labels to guide them.

Eating whole real foods is the simplest way to avoid added sugar, but the reality is that people are consuming more processed food than ever before.

Right now, the food industry is winning this debate because they don’t have to declare the amount of added sugar in their products, so Australian consumers are unable to make healthy choices for their families.

Naturally, industry will argue strongly against this proposed regulation, in the same way that they also oppose a sugar tax and regulations on advertising and marketing — all measures that would improve health outcomes.

For once, it would be nice for the Health Ministers to make a decision that favours public health rather than the food manufacturers.

Sugar

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #researchtranslation17 @NHMRC and @KenWyattMP announce $12 Million Investment Aiming to #ClosetheGap in #Indigenous Health

‘We hope it can improve the health of Aboriginal babies,’

Darwin mother Dianne Walker (pictured above )   entered her newborn daughter Rekeesha into the study 29 years ago to track her development, and is happy the project is getting more funding.

Hear ABC interview HERE

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/programs/pm/aboriginal-health-research/9139838

Menzies will also continue the nation’s longest cohort study of Aboriginal health which examines almost 700 children to identify disease risk factors.

“These nine important projects aim to improve and save lives and will provide more opportunities for health breakthroughs,

From diet improvement to vitamin supplements and antibiotics, this broad range of critical work will continue to increase our clinical knowledge.

I congratulate the Menzies School of Research for its work over more than 30 years, with health services and community partners, on people-focused projects to make a real difference on the ground.”

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM said medical research was critical to closing the gap on Indigenous life expectancy.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM last Friday  announced the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for researchers at Darwin’s Menzies School of Medical Research, covering Indigenous-specific and broader health projects

The Turnbull Government will fund nine landmark Northern Territory medical research projects worth over $12 million, aiming to save children’s lives and help close the gap in Indigenous health.

“This research’s focus on child health and chronic disease will help address significant challenges in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities,” Minister Scullion said.

“This demonstrates how the Coalition Government works closely with important Territory institutions like Menzies School of Medical Research to deliver better outcomes for Territorians.

“The funding includes major support for Menzies to undertake a trial of maternal immunisation to prevent pneumonia in infants and to continue a 30-year ground-breaking cohort study of 689 Aboriginal children born to mothers at the Royal Darwin Hospital.”

The grants continue the Turnbull Government’s commitment to world-leading medical research, with the NHMRC tasked with expending at least 5 per cent of its funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health research.

“Through NHMRC, the government is also developing Road Map 3 A Strategic Framework for Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health through Research,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This guide will communicate our objectives and investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research for the next decade.”

Menzies School of Health Research funding:

CIA NAME TITLE
BUDGET
Prof Anne Chang Preventing early-onset pneumonia in Indigenous infants through maternal immunisation: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial

 

$3,210,617.60
Dr Michael Binks Vitamin D supplementation to prevent respiratory infections among Indigenous children in the Northern Territory: a randomised controlled trial.

 

$3,164,378.55
A/Pr Gurmeet Singh Early life and contemporary influences on body composition, mental health, and chronic disease risk markers in the Aboriginal Birth Cohort

 

$3,117,044.30
Prof Anne Chang Prophylactic antibiotics to prevent recurrent lower respiratory tract infections in children with neurological impairment (PARROT) study

 

$1,193,515.70
A/Pr Julie Brimblecombe Healthy Stores 2020: Reducing retail merchandising of discretionary food and beverages in remote Indigenous community stores

 

$903,135.10
Dr Anna Wood Diabetes and cardiovascular risk among Indigenous women after pregnancy complicated by hyperglycaemia.

 

$126,437.00
Dr Simon Smith A prospective study of the aetiology, associations, clinical features and outcomes of community-acquired pneumonia in children and adults in tropical Australia

 

$126,437.00
Ms Jemima Beissbarth Vaccine and antibiotic selective pressures on the microbiology of otitis media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in northern Australia

 

$87,302.00
Ms Christina Spargo 2017 Equipment Grant
$84,491.50

NACCHO Aboriginal Health : Download The @RACGP Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare

 

 ” The RACGP’s Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare has been developed to provide a clear and concise summary of the programs and funding options available to support better care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients “

Download 1Five-steps-guide

Download 2. Five-steps-summary-sheet

RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health produced these resources to help give busy GPs and practice teams practical advice that builds on a foundation of cultural awareness.

The five steps:

1. Prepare and register for the Practice Incentives Program (PIP)
Register for the Indigenous Health PIP Incentive, staff complete accredited cultural awareness training, create a welcoming practice environment.

2. Identify your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
Asking whether someone identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander can cause discomfort in practice staff; however, evidence shows that patients are comfortable when asked if the reasons can be explained.

If patients choose to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, they will do so when prompted.

3. Perform a health assessment
Performing a Medicare health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (MBS item 715) opens access to an additional five allied health visits.

Conducting a health assessment with a patient is an opportunity to build rapport and trust, and to develop an ongoing relationship. In addition to identifying physical health problems, discussing psychological and social functions is an effective approach to two-way communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

4. Register patients with, or at risk of, a chronic disease for the Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment
Once a practice is registered for the Indigenous PIP (Step 1), it is able to register patients for the CTG PBS co-payment.

5. Use appropriate clinical guidelines and programs from the RACGP, Medicare and Primary Health Networks to enhance access and quality of care
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)/RACGP National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (the National guide) outlines the activities that are effective for preventive health.

More information is also available in the Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet Indigenous Health service eLearning program.

Other resources in the Five steps towards excellent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare include a Five steps guide, which features detailed information to support GPs and practice teams to access programs and funding options; a quick reference guide to MBS items, policy and programs; and a Five steps visual poster, which is a condensed version of the five steps that can be displayed in a practice.

The RACGP will also be developing supplementary resources throughout 2018 to support GPs to implement the five steps in a way that achieves the best outcomes for practices and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

First published in newsGP. Reproduced with permission of the RACGP.
 

 


THE AUTHOR: Mr Paul Hayes Paul is an experienced healthcare journalist and the editor of newsGP.