More work needed
The Close the Gap Steering Committee is seeking a renewed commitment to Close the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage from the next Government.
to Close the Gap
A Committee briefing paper also seeks action on the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.
The paper outlines the steps needed in the next Parliament to ensure progress on closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.
It says that within its first 100 days, a new Government should reaffirm the commitment for the Prime Minister to annually report at the beginning of Parliament on progress towards closing the gap.
The Steering Committee is also seeking a new COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes, with a minimum Commonwealth investment of $777 million over the next three years.
The briefing paper also urges the implementation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives.
Chair of National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Justin Mohamed said Australia was only at the beginning of the journey to Close the Gap between Indigenous life expectancy and that of other Australians by 2030.
“We can’t turn back now because Close the Gap needs long-term commitment and policy continuity,” Mr Mohamed said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in our hands is having an impact and we must keep supporting our people to deliver their own health outcomes.”
President of the Australian Medical Association, Steve Hambleton said that both Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have been strong supporters of Close the Gap.
“It’s important that momentum towards closing the gap is maintained regardless of who wins the election. Closing the gap is a generational effort and we are beginning to see signs of progress,” Dr Hambleton said.
Building on the Close the Gap platform can be downloaded from this PS News link.
Edition 377, 3 September 2013