Further steps need to be taken to ensure health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples according to Public Health Association of Australia Vice President of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health Carmen Parter.
“After ten years the government needs to refocus efforts to close the life expectancy gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” says Parter, a descendent of the Darumbal and Juru clans of the Birra Gubba Nations of Queensland.
The Close the Gap Steering Committee launched the 2016 Progress and Priorities report today at the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Close the Gap Report and Parliamentary address. The report outlines long term goals to build upon the Closing the Gap Strategy.
“The government has made a good start but harder hitting goals are needed to reach health equality in 2030. To do this, the government needs to set aside appropriate funding for the Implementation Plan in the 2016 Federal Budget,” says Parter.
“Ambitious goals need to be set to make a real difference to the life expectancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We need to do more to reach our 2030 goals. If we keep going at this rate it could add another ten years to the plan.”
PHAA CEO Michael Moore says PHAA is making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing a major priority for the election policy platforms.
“Addressing health equity issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders needs collaborative efforts from all levels of government. It’s time to focus on what’s important and close the gap,” says Moore.
“PHAA are passionate in supporting the targets in reducing imprisonment rates and increasing community safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“To meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health and wellbeing needs health service models that address health needs on a national, regional and community level. With dedicated health services, the regions with the poorest health can receive adequate levels of service.
“This generation has the opportunity and responsibility to close the health gap which has affected our nation for too long. Action needs to be taken now to close the gap by 2030.”