Closing the Gap: AHHA calls for Government commitment

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

While only limited progress in closing the gap has been reported in the 2015 Close the Gap Progress and Priorities Report, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) welcomes the report recommendations and urges the Government to take action on these.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience a significantly higher burden of disease and a reduced life expectancy in comparison to other Australians. The Government must commit to renewed investment in prevention strategies including anti-tobacco and drug and alcohol programs as a priority,” said Alison Verhoeven, AHHA Chief Executive.

In its pre-budget submission, the AHHA has called for support for programs that encourage effective collaboration between Aboriginal community-controlled services and mainstream services that serve to develop the capacity and resilience of individuals and communities.

There is particular opportunity through the establishment of Primary Health Networks to entrench better connectedness with non-Indigenous health services at the primary level, but also better planning for the healthcare needs and challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 “The AHHA supports the recommendation in the report for development of an implementation plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. To address institutional racism in healthcare a national standard on culturally appropriate healthcare should be developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and incorporated into the national accreditation program for hospitals and health services,” said Ms. Verhoeven.

For more information on the AHHA, visit

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.

Media enquiries:

Alison Verhoeven

Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0403 282 501