Another step towards Indigienous Health Equality.

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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.

Media Release: Community input, resources needed for healthy future of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan

introThe National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement today that an implementation plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan will be developed by the end of the year.

Download the NATSIHP Plan Here

NACCHO chairperson Justin Mohamed said the 10-year health plan had been developed with extensive consultation with NACCHO and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health stakeholders in urban, regional and remote community settings.

“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan is a great example of a blueprint harnessing the expertise and deep knowledge of Aboriginal people for better health outcomes in their communities,” Mr Mohamed said today.

“I welcome in particular the long-sought acknowledgement that racism continues to have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Factors such as person’s social and economic position in life, exclusion from participation in society and employment and exposure to stress can all influence their health throughout life.

“The Plan addresses many issues for the delivery of health services and outcomes, but there remains serious concerns about the cuts to Aboriginal health funding and the Medicare co-payment announced in the Federal Budget.

“NACCHO and its member services look forward to working with the Federal Government on the exciting next phase of the Plan – a comprehensive implementation strategy with meaningful targets and adequate resources.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations have a proven track record in providing a range of quality employment and education opportunities for Aboriginal people and boosting local economies.

“We would embrace continued consultation and involvement with on-ground Aboriginal services and communities to increase access to culturally appropriate, community-driven health care,” Mr Mohamed said.
Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533