This document highlights existing activities, partnerships and programs that contribute to closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. While not an exhaustive list of activities and programs, this document highlights examples of investments, recognising the impact of wider policies and programs and reform agendas across areas such as mental health, housing and homelessness, education and economic participation, and their contribution to addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage and achieving sustainable health gains.
- Strengthening the system of comprehensive primary care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is integral to an effective and efficient health system to contribute towards closing the gap.
- At the time of this report, Health Workforce Australia has been funded to support the upskilling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers in regional and remote areas, to assist them to achieve new national registration requirements which commenced in July 2012.
- The Australian Government will lead the development of a National Nutrition Policy with input from state and territory governments.
- The Living Longer Living Better, aged care reform package was announced on 20 April 2012. The package involves a comprehensive ten year plan to reshape aged care, and will provide $3.7 billion over five years to build a better, fairer and more nationally consistent aged care system.
- The Australian Government currently supports culturally appropriate training and education in palliative care and end of life issues for health care workers providing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through funding various national palliative care projects, specified further in the report.
- Evidence supports that early access to quality early childhood education and care can lead to increased school readiness and improved participation in preschool and school, particularly for vulnerable children.
The Australian Government is continuing its funding commitments and is seeking state and territory agreement to continue funding for their initiatives under this National Partnership Agreement. This funding will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to benefit from improved health services to support the commitment to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.