The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council (QAIHC) is concerned by the results of the Commonwealth Government’s 10th annual Closing the Gap Report, QAIHC Chairman Kieran Chilcott said today.
“We applaud the Australian Government for maintaining their focus on the Closing the Gap Strategy for the last 10 years, however, today’s results are very poor, with only one out of seven targets to end Indigenous disadvantaged being achieved.”
“The gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians is 10 years and it is widening, not closing,” he said.
“QAIHC is concerned that the Closing the Gap Strategy has never been fully implemented. It requires greater scrutiny of government investment, accountability and Indigenous policy input.
“Government investment continues to go to mainstream health service providers and this hasn’t worked. This investment has to be redirected to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector.
“More investment, not less, needs to be committed to the Sector who continue to provide culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care services and programs that improve health.
“Underfunding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and infrastructure has persisted. Funding has not always been based on need, and it has been cut and in some cases or redirected to mainstream providers.
“QAIHC will continue to work with the government to advocate for urgent change and to address the risks and unintended consequences of the Closing the Gap Strategy,” Mr Chilcott said today.