Thursday, 20 March 2014
Closing the Gap
I, and also on behalf of Senator Peris, move:
That the Senate—
(a) acknowledges that:
(i) 20 March is National Close the Gap Day, and
(ii) the gap in life expectancy and health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people remains unacceptable;
(b) notes that in their 2014 report the Close the Gap Steering Committee called for:
(i) the implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive National Action Plan on health,
(ii) meaningful partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and health services,
(iii) improvements to Indigenous participation, control and delivery of health services,
(iv) a commitment to provide adequate and long-term financial resources, including strengthening of the Indigenous health workforce, and
(v) the need to address critical social issues that impact on Indigenous health, including poor housing, nutrition, employment and education; and
(c) urges the federal, state and territory governments to continue to work together to achieve these important outcomes.
Indigenous health is a significant priority for the Abbott government, and we are fully committed to achieving health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. While there have been some improvements, significant disparities and health outcomes are evident in key indicators such as life expectancy, age standardised death rates and chronic disease rates. The government regards the continued investment in clinical health services as a priority and is also determined to address social determinants of health such as school education, employment and housing. The government is committed to working collaboratively with the states and territories, as well as the community health sector, to build on the successes and work harder in the areas in need of improvement.
Question agreed to.