INTRODUCTION – Extract
To address the widening life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians, we have identified three priority areas that must be addressed. We have illustrated what success looks like in these areas, from varying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, via stories that highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and leadership.
The three areas of focus for this year’s report are:
- Targeted, needs-based primary health care
- Responsive health care system
- Good housing for good health.
The overriding principle throughout the stories is that the success of these initiatives is based on community governance and leadership, which is imperative to the success and longevity of
the programs. The stories also highlight the importance of cultural determinants of health such as strength, resilience, identity and importantly—self-determination.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) are an essential success component of the provision of holistic, affordable and appropriate primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ACCOs have a proven track record in delivering effective and cost-efficient primary health care. We, the Campaign, continue to urge investment in targeted, needsbased comprehensive primary health care. This is essential in addressing the unacceptable health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians. We strongly support increased investment in ACCOs to increase the quality and accessibility of culturally sensitive and appropriate health care where it is needed most.
SOURCE: Lowitja Institute. “Our Choices Our Voices: A report prepared by the Lowitja Institute for the Close the Gap Steering Committee.” March 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia