Kevin Rudd presented his report card on closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage and life expectancy to Parliament today (correction, it was actually on Thurs 11th), but he got a much tougher assessment from a “shadow report” released by Close the Gap, a coalition of more than 40 of Australia’s leading health, human rights and Aboriginal organisations.
Amongst other things, the report, which you can download here, says:
• The Government’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples happens on an ad hoc basis and focuses on policy implementation rather than design. It is common sense that Indigenous health experts and those using services have a say in what they look like. A more inclusive and genuine partnership is critical to close the gap;
• The Government’s National Indigenous Workforce Training Plan needs to be more comprehensive to meet the gaps in the Indigenous health workforce;
• Despite committing to supporting and developing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health services in urban, rural and remote areas – which the Australian Medical Association recognises is the preferred option for providing health care to Indigenous peoples – the bulk of the $1.6 billion injection into Indigenous health is going towards mainstream health services.
Croakey hopes to bring you more coverage of this report next week, so stay tuned.