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2018 AMA Report Card on Indigenous Health - Rebuilding the Closing the Gap Health Strategy: and a Review of the 2016 and 2017 AMA Indigenous Health Report Card Recommendations

22 Nov 2018

The 2018 Report Card on Indigenous Health is a combination of the AMA’s proposals for ‘Rebuilding the Closing the Gap Health Strategy’ and a review of the recommendations of our 2016 and 2017 AMA Report Cards which focused on rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and otitis media respectively.

It has been 10 years since the Closing the Gap (CTG) strategy was launched and the target to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2031 is not on track, the gap is widening.  A complete restructuring of the strategy is needed to genuinely close the gap.

Unfortunately, there continues to be disparities between the health status of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.  Recent statistics show that Indigenous Australians experienced a burden of disease that is 2.3 times higher than that of non-Indigenous Australians.

This year’s Report Card takes six recommendations mentioned in the 2018 Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee’s Ten-Year Review and outlines a ‘ground up’ approach that focuses on the targets required for the strategy.

It highlights the fundamental issues such as committing to equitable needs-based funding; systematically costing, funding, and implementing the ‘Closing the Gap’ health and mental health plans; identifying and filling the gaps in primary health care; addressing environmental health and housing; addressing social determinants; and Aboriginal leadership.

The overarching goal of CTG strategy cannot be accomplished without addressing these issues.  The 2018 Report Card summarises practical recommendations which are essential to achieve targets in CTG strategy and guides CTG ‘refresh’ process.

The AMA commends this Report Card to all political leaders and everybody involved in Indigenous Health and urge them to act on these recommendations.

The AMA is strongly committed to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Published: 22 Nov 2018