In partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW, the NSW Government has developed this ten-year Aboriginal Health Plan. The plan is an acknowledgement of the significant health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW and reflects the NSW Government’s commitment to closing this gap.
- An appreciation of the social determinants of Aboriginal health, including the contributions of historical factors, education, employment, housing, environmental factors, social and cultural capital, and racism, is critically important to closing the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
- The plan has a deliberate focus on what changes need to be made to the health system to improve Aboriginal health, rather than a focus on specific health risk factors or conditions.
- During the consultation for the Plan, many respondents strongly endorsed the need for genuine participation of Aboriginal communities in strategy and action planning at all levels of the system. To support Aboriginal community participation, partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)s need to be formally supported.
- The importance of understanding Aboriginal communities’ perceptions and understandings of what works best for their communities needs greater appreciation.
- During the consultations, strengthening the Aboriginal workforce in the health system was seen as critical to improving services. A concerted effort is required to develop and nurture an Aboriginal workforce across NSW Health and other service provider sectors. Key to this workforce is the unique role of the Aboriginal health worker (AHW).