Proper partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations needed to ‘refresh’ Closing the Gap

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association supports the 13 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies that have written to Council of Australian Governments (COAG) First Ministers seeking a full partnership between Indigenous people and governments in refreshing the Closing the Gap Strategy for Indigenous health.

The Closing the Gap ‘refresh’ is scheduled to be put to COAG for consideration in Adelaide on 12 December 2018.

The peak bodies have requested an urgent meeting with COAG representatives to set out an agreement framework for a refreshed Closing the Gap strategy.

‘The current government has repeated many times that the key to “what works” in Indigenous health is doing things with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people not doing things to them’, AHHA Strategic Programs Director Dr Chris Bourke said.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to be at the heart of the Closing the Gap strategy—with their involvement as partners in decision-making and setting out targets, better outcomes are much more assured.

‘Without true partnership it will not be possible for these organisations to advocate with any confidence, motivate Indigenous communities to support Closing the Gap, or take joint responsibility for achieving the targets.’

‘COAG has previously made commitments to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples—the best research and lived experience suggest that a genuine partnership is the proper way to do it—in fact the only way to do it’, Dr Bourke said.

 

More information about the AHHA is available at ahha.asn.au

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries:  

Dr Chris Bourke, Strategic Programs Director

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0418 869 443