The gap in health that leads to lower life expectancy and poorer health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be tracked from birth and early childhood, according to a new information paper released today by Melbourne Primary Care Network.
Closing the Gap in North Western Melbourne PHN gathers a broad range of data to paint a detailed picture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in the north and west of Melbourne.
The information paper shows while there are issues unique to each life stage, negative indicators begin to appear from pregnancy, birth and early childhood which then develop into a range serious health outcomes as Aboriginal people become adults.
MPCN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter says the paper shows these outcomes are influenced by a range of factors, including high levels of socio-economic disadvantage.
“This reinforces that there is no one single answer to improving Aboriginal health; we need multi-modal, coordinated solutions driven by partnerships between providers, funders and the Aboriginal community,” A/Prof Carter says.
“We hope this paper can help provide the evidence base to support those partnerships in our region, and be a step towards a stronger, healthier future for Aboriginal people.”