Closing the Gap Agreement should be renewed
The AMA calls on the Federal, State and Territory governments to renew their commitment to the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap, as a key step in addressing health inequalities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said the Closing the Gap Prime Ministers Report 2013 released today, outlines the improvements that are being made to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, particularly through the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap, but more can be done.
“The track record has been varied over the decade, but it has been building momentum in recent years,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Improvements are being made, but there is still more to be done if health equality is to be achieved within a generation.
“In 2008, COAG made a commitment to close the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.
“The COAG National Partnership Agreement expires later this year, and should be fully renewed to ensure momentum is not lost.
“A National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health plan, which is key to closing the life expectancy gap, is currently being developed and COAG should make a long term funding commitment to it.
“The plan needs to be a real road map to measure outcomes with timelines and interim targets, and not just a statement of principles.
“Improving the health of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders is a real problem that needs practical solutions that transcend party-political differences.
“All political parties should make a commitment to health equality.”
6 February 2013