The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is marking today’s National Close the Gap Day by urging the Commonwealth to use the 2015 Budget to reaffirm its commitment to overcoming the inequitable health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In its pre-budget submission, the AHHA has called for priority sustained support for Indigenous health programs including those that encourage collaboration between Aboriginal community-controlled services and mainstream services and which develop the capacity and resilience of individuals and communities.
“There is a particular opportunity through the establishment of Primary Health Networks to renew and build partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health services,” said Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Chief Executive.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a significantly higher burden of disease and a reduced life expectancy in comparison to other Australians. The Government must use the upcoming budget to commit to renewed investment in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and life expectancy.”
“Better planning for the healthcare needs and challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is also required. Planning and delivering more appropriate care, including health promotion and prevention measures, will serve to lower the disease burden and contribute to closing the gap. Funding uncertainties must be addressed in a more timely manner than has been the case to date,” said Ms. Verhoeven.
“The AHHA is also proud to be a founding partner in the Lowitja Institute’s Recognise Health initiative, which promotes understanding of the important link between health and wellbeing and constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
For more information on the AHHA, visit http://ahha.asn.au.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.
Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
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