Aboriginal Health – Closing the Gap
As a group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the nation. A large part of this is due to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and chronic kidney disease. Many of these have common risk factors, including smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a $1.6 billion National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes to address the target of closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation. As part of this investment the Australian Government will invest $805.5 million over four years (2009 – 2013) to support a total of 14 measures, a number of which are specifically directed to supporting greater Indigenous access to mainstream primary health care services and more effective chronic disease management for Indigenous patients through mainstream general practice.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples – Demographics, Social and Economic Characteristics: Facts
DID YOU KNOW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have lower life expectancy than Non-Indigenous Australians?
- At the National level for 2005-2007, the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Non-Indigenous life expectancy was 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females.
- Life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males is estimated to be 67.2 years, compared with 78.7 years for non-Indigenous males.
- Life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females is estimated to be 72.9 years, compared with 82.6 years for non-Indigenous females.
Access to Health and Community Services (Updated 29/10/2010)
- Nationally, just over one-quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults reported problems accessing one or more health services.
- Community services and facilities that were less likely to be locally available when needed including emergency services, police stations and school bus services.
Social and Emotional Wellbeing (Updated 29/10/2010)
- Around one third of adults reported high/very high levels of psychological distress.
- Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced discrimination.
- Around one in twelve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have personally experienced removal from their natural family.
Adult Health (Updated 28/5/2010)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have poorer self-assessed health and were more likely to report higher levels of psychological distress than non-Indigenous Australians.