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Date posted: 17 April 2013
The Close the Gap campaign is urging the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health on the agenda for the meeting to be held Friday 19 April 2013 in order to close the life expectancy gap by 2030.
‘While the 2008 COAG meeting saw federal, state and territory governments commit to long term funding for services and programs though the National partnership agreement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is absent from the upcoming COAG meeting agenda', said Campaign Co-Chair Mick Gooda.
The National partnership agreement, which has driven efforts to 'close the gap' in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes, is set to expire at the end of June 2013. Despite Federal Government indications that it will continue funding its share of the Agreement, state and territory governments have not yet signed up to the Agreement, leaving some services and programs in real doubt as to whether they can continue beyond 30 June.
Campaign Co-Chair Jody Broun said, ‘We have to maintain our efforts to improve access to critical chronic disease services and to deliver anti-smoking measures, more affordable medicines and healthy lifestyle programs. We need to support and build capacity in our Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and we need to build on the inroads already made by our child and maternal health services.'
‘We need more Aboriginal health workers, allied health professionals, doctors, nurses and health promotion workers.'
Source: Australian Human Rights Commission