To close health gap existing between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians to achieve a health equality
Calling on Australian governments to develop policies and take measureable actions towards reducing health gap and achieving Indigenous health equality
Component strategy for attaining political commitment
Component strategy for addressing social issues impacting Indigenous health
Component strategy for achieving public awareness
Improving housing, education and nutrition
Reinforcing Indigenous workforce
Signing Statement of Intent among key political parties and the government
Community campaigns-National Close the Gap Day
Radio and telephone advertisement
According to Australian Human Rights Commission (2017), Close the Gap is a campaign whose aim is to advocate for the reduction of health gap that exists between non-indigenous and indigenous Australia. Non-Indigenous Australians have higher life expectancies compared to their counterparts Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal individuals. Close the Gap is a combined force of non-Indigenous and Indigenous community and health organizations composing of about 200,000 Australians with the core objective of advocating for the government to take measurable actions towards achieving equality in health by 2030 (Oxfam 2017). The increasing support for the campaign follows the prevailing facts revealing a significant health gap existing between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. For instance, it is indicated in the United Nations The State of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples report in 2009, Nepal and Australia are the nations with wide life expectancy gaps existing between their non-Indigenous and Indigenous citizens. Furthermore, the mortality rate among Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal individuals in Australia equals those of the most impoverished countries in the world. As Table 1 shows, one of the strategies applicable in the Close the Gap is the eradication of social inequalities such as poor housing, lack of employment, poor nutrition and low levels of education, which predispose Indigenous population to poor health. The life expectancy of the Indigenous is 10-17 years less compared to that of non-Indigenous Australians (Thompson, et al. 2017, p. 19). Furthermore, the rate at which Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Australian contract preventable diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease is higher compared to the non-Indigenous populace. The aim of the Close the Gap campaign is to reduce the health gap and realize equality in Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal health. The gap exists due to inaccessibility of healthcare facilities to Indigenous communities as they reside in remote areas. Furthermore, Australias mainstream healthcare amenities are unwelcoming to Indigenous individuals as they are culturally insensitive.
Engage key political parties and the government in taking action and signing Statement of Intent
Allocating extra health funding to the campaign through Council of Australian Governments
Working in collaboration with Indigenous communities and health organizations
Enhance Indigenous health service delivery, control, and participation
Offering long-term financial capabilities and resources to the Indigenous communities through reinforcing t its health workforce
Establish partnerships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous health organizations and communities
Supporting, resourcing, consulting and empowering Indigenous populations to increase their capability to solve issues facing them such as poor nutrition and housing (The Department of Health 2017)
As Table 2 shows, arrow direction denotes the flow of power on the power-holder maps.
Australian Human Rights Commission, 2017. Close the Gap: Indigenous Health Campaign. [Online] Available at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-social-justice/projects/close-gap-indigenous-health[Accessed 13 January 2018].
Oxfam, 2017. Close the Gap. [Online] Available at: https://www.oxfam.org.au/what-we-do/indigenous-australia/close-the-gap/[Accessed 13 January 2018].
The Department of Health, 2017. Close the Gap. [Online] Available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mc15-002185-close-the-gap[Accessed 13 January 2018].
Thompson, G., Talley, N. J. & Kong, K. M., 2017. The health of Indigenous Australians. Medical Journal of Australia, 207(1), pp. 19-20.
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