The Public Health Association of Australia has welcomed the release of the Implementation Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
According to Adjunct Associate Professor Carmen Parter, who is the Vice President of the PHAA with responsibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, “this step is particularly noteworthy as the original plan was developed under the previous Labor government”.
CEO of the PHAA, Michael Moore, followed by congratulating the Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash for bringing this plan to fruition.
“The government has taken appropriate steps to put Aboriginal and Torres Islander health above petty politics.
“It was important to develop a plan,” he says, “but without this clear Implementation Strategy it would have sat on the shelf gathering dust like so many other plans”.
Parter says that, “Even more importantly, the PHAA commends the strong focus on prevention and early intervention including health promotion and health literacy in such areas of chronic disease prevention, tobacco reduction, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and maternal and child health”.
She says, “The process is important. We are particularly pleased with the commitment to continue working and engaging with local communities in developing community led solutions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders (through the National Health Leadership Forum).
“By investing in increased capability of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and acknowledging the importance of Primary Health Networks involvement in addressing health inequities the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can look forward to the possibility of a healthier future.”
Mr Moore referred to the renewed commitments for framework agreements between the Commonwealth and States/Territory Governments saying “Indigenous health requires joint collaborative effort from all levels of government”.
He says the Implementation Plan effectively honours the extensive prior work and national consultation that occurred during the development of the National Plan, which included significant input by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
In commending the National Health Leadership Forum on behalf of the PHAA for their leadership, Carmen Parter affirmed that “the National Plan and more importantly its Implementation Plan does provide governments, policy makers and service providers with an opportunity to make real change in the health disparities and outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”
Moore says that the PHAA looks forward to contributing towards closing the gap and addressing health inequities experienced by Indigenous Australians.