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Oxfam Australia's National Close the gap day is being held this week on Thursday 20 March, a day designed to create awareness, spark conversation and remind politicians about the inequality of health care that exists in our own country between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The event is a way for all Australians to join together and remind our political leaders of their commitments to close the life expectancy gap within a generation.
Oxfam Australia’s Indigenous Rights Policy Advisor, Andrew Meehan, says support of the campaign has helped put Indigenous health back on the agenda with government officials. 'Registered events this year have now hit a record of 1060, showing an undeniable groundswell of support from everyday Australians...', he said.
Assistant Minister for Health Senator, Fiona Nash, says the government is responding to the call with around $800 million in grant funding to organisations for Indigenous specific primary health and allied health care, the majority of which are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs). 'ACCHOs deliver culturally appropriate and sustainable primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Many communities have different cultures and histories so different needs may need to be addressed by locally developed, specific strategies,' she says.
Further to this, a $1.3 billion dollar investment in 2013-14 has been pledged for health projects including child and maternal health and the management of chronic diseases with specific focus on reducing the factors that create risk for disease including smoking and diet.
The HealthInfoNet team is hosting our own event, a morning tea, in recognition of the day.
Source: SBS, NACCO Communique