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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

COAG reports that Indigenous child health is improving

A new COAG Reform Council report looks at progress under the National Indigenous reform agreement, which sets six targets for governments to improve health, education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Council Chairman, Mr Paul McClintock AO, said the report shows that the overall death rate of Indigenous Australians will need to fall faster to meet COAG's 2031 target to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

'Only the Northern Territory is on track to close the gap in death rates by 2031 if the trend continues,' said Mr McClintock.

'We welcome the progress toward halving the gap in death rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children in the four jurisdictions - New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory - for which we have reliable data.'

While the Indigenous child death rate remains twice that of non-Indigenous children, the rate for Indigenous children decreased faster than for non-Indigenous children between 1998 and 2010. This means the gap is closing.

The level of improvement in education outcomes for Indigenous children was disappointing.

Despite progress in halving the gap in literacy and numeracy by 2018, a relatively small proportion of Indigenous students reach the national minimum standard. Nationally, across Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, between 66% and 77% of Indigenous students meet the national minimum standard in reading and between 72% and 84% in numeracy.

'While it is pleasing that the council can report some improvement in the health and education outcomes for Indigenous children, Australian governments have a lot of hard work ahead to achieve the targets set out in the National Indigenous reform agreement,' the Chairman said.

Source: COAG Reform Council

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Last updated: 10 July 2012
 
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