SA leaders want Weatherill Government to Close the Gap Janet Craig he Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Inc. is calling upon the SA Government to commit to renewed funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes at the April COAG meeting. The commitment to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by 2030 was a watershed moment for the nation. All Australian governments committed to this important national priority through the COAG process 5 years ago. This was backed by a policy platform that included the National Partnership Agreement that is due to expire on 30 June 2013. AHCSA CEO Mary Buckskin said, “The SA Government supported the Agreement in 2008 and put a fair share of funding towards it but now we need the funding to continue. “While improvements in Aboriginal health are starting to emerge, it will take more time before we see real results in closing the significant health gap. “We want the Weatherill Government to take advantage of the April COAG meeting and commit to invest again as
Mary Buckskin, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Inc. Image supplied
we understand the Federal Government has done. “We also trust that State and Commonwealth Governments will collaborate more closely with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector when funding decisions are made to ensure that it is used more effectively than in the past,” Mrs Buckskin said. More than 185,000 Australians have signed the Close the Gap Pledge and last month more than 140,000 Australians attended 950 events on National Close the Gap
Day. In a country as wealthy as Australia, it is unacceptable that a baby born to an Indigenous mother can expect to live between 10 and 17 years less than a baby born to a non-Indigenous mother, or die before the age of four at between two and three times the rate of non-Indigenous children. “It is time to build on the foundations in place and invest further to close the gap. For the SA Government, this means renewing their commitment to the National Partnership Agreement on Closing
the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes and maintaining or increasing the level of funding allocated to state programs. The Aboriginal Health Council of SA Inc. (AHCSA) is the peak body representing Aboriginal community controlled health and substance misuse services, and Aboriginal health advisory committees across South Australia. AHCSA is an affiliate of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Published on Apr 16, 2013