Are you a practitioner working on Aboriginal health projects? If yes, you might be interested in the 2016 Prime Ministers report on Closing the Gap. This report outlines how Australia is progressing towards closing the disparity of health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
Health practitioners and those working in injury prevention will be especially interested in the chapters on healthy lives and safe, healthy communities. Mental health is raised as a key issue, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have higher rates of mental health issues than non-Aboriginal people. The report outlines that Primary Health Networks will be working closer with existing Aboriginal health services aimed at mental health, social wellbeing, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug treatment, in consultation with local Aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal peak bodies.
The targets are:
- Close the life expectancy gap within a generation (by 2031)
- Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018)
- Ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities within five years (by 2013)
- Halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children within a decade (by 2018)
- Halve the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 attainment rates (by 2020)
- Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018).
Mr Turnbull’s key points:
- Life expectancy is not on track to reach parity
- There is varied progress across the different targets
Access Closing the Gap: The Prime Minister’s Report 2016 today for more information about how Australia is fairing in Aboriginal health.