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The federal government has released a 10-year, $12 billion plan aimed at closing the gap between the health of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The plan, which dictates where state and federal governments should focus their efforts, aims to deliver the policies required to eliminate the Indigenous life expectancy gap by 2031, currently 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women. Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon said the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan (NATSIHP) would be critical in meeting that target. 'The health plan follows extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives, and sets a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy for the next 10 years,' he said. Mr Snowdon also used the launch of the NATSIHP to reiterate his call to state and territory governments to publicly commit their contributions to the new National partnership agreement on closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes.
The NATSIHP adopts a strengths-based approach to ensure policies and programs improve health, social and emotional wellbeing and resilience, and promote positive health behaviours. It emphasises the centrality of culture in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rights of individuals to a safe, healthy and empowered life. The NATSIHP was developed as a collaborative effort after extensive consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their representatives, and informed by advice from the Australian Government's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council and the Health Plan's Stakeholder Advisory Group.
Source SBS news, NACCHO communique, Department of Health and Ageing