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COAG report shows that Government cooperation can help close the gap

06 Jun 2013

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the COAG Reform Council report, Indigenous Reform 2011-12: Comparing performance across Australia, shows that progress can be made on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health with the right support and commitment.

Dr Hambleton said the report shows that, to date, most States and Territories are lagging in their efforts to meet all their Closing the Gap targets, but there are strong signs of improvement in key areas - including halving the gap in child deaths, an increase in year 12 school achievement, and increased levels of post-school qualifications.

“We need to keep this momentum going and build on it, but it can only happen with long-term funding and political commitment from all our governments,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The current National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes will soon expire, and the AMA believes that a new partnership agreement must be developed and implemented for the next five years.

“All government must sign up.

“The AMA congratulates the Federal and the Victorian Governments for making a funding commitment to the next partnership agreement.

“We urge the remaining governments to make a funding commitment that is at least the same as the current partnership agreement,” Dr Hambleton said.

Five years ago, all Australian governments committed $1.6 billion to the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes.

6 June 2013

CONTACT:         John Flannery                       02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 06 Jun 2013