Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
What is “Closing the Gap”?
“Closing the Gap” is a government strategy that aims to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement, and employment outcomes. It is a formal commitment made by all Australian governments to achieve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within 25 years.
To read more about Closing the Gap, click here.
National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Information about early detection, preventing disease and promoting good health can be found on the RACGP website. It is a practical resource for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
In a summary available on the NACCHO website it is clear that people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage have much higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, mental health problems and kidney disease than non-Indigenous Australians. Many programs have made inroads on addressing these issues, the best outcomes when set up by locals for locals. We are reaching out to our local Indigenous patients to help them keep connected with their health team, working on their goals and the changes needed to reach them.
A program to help young people going through tough times, feeling sad, stressed or angry, was introduced in 2014. It’s called Yarn Safe and has grown to reach many more struggling with drug and alcohol problems, saving lives.
Kidney Health Australia has produced helpful guides on eating and wellness with particular reference to the foods available as Bush Tucker. Diabetes Australia developed Back on Track targeted towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help them make the most of resources to reduce the disability and premature death caused by diabetes. The Heart Foundation worked with St Vincent’s Hospital to create another great resource to improve Heart Health for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
715 Health Check
The 715 Health Check is free at our practice and is available at least yearly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. Further information, including resources for patients and health practitioners, is available at the Department of Health website.