'Close the Gap' Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent
|Binomial Name: ||Australian Commonwealth Government|
|Date: ||20 March 2008|
|Sub Category:||Statement of Commitment/Intention|
|Subject Matter:||Health and Community Services | Reconciliation|
|Summary Information: |
|The 'Close the Gap' Indigenous Health Equality Summit Statement of Intent ('the Statement of Intent') was signed on 20 March 2008 by representatives from the Commonwealth Government, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses, the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association and the Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia, as well as by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
A HREOC report (2008) also notes that a number of others signed the Statement of Intent on a separate sheet, namely:
the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson MP, Leader of the Opposition;
Dr Rosanna Capolingua, President, Australian Medical Association;
Ms Kate Carnell, Chief Executive Officer, Australian General Practice Network;
Dr Vasantha Preetham, President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners;
Professor Napier Thomson, President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians;
Mr Andrew Hewett, Executive Director, Oxfam Australia;
Professor Michael Dodson, AM, Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia;
Ed Coper, Get Up!;
Gary Highland, National Director, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation;
Catherine Freeman, Catherine Freeman Foundation;
Ian Thorpe, Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth; and
Mr Andrew Schwartz, President, Australian Doctors Trained Overseas Association.
The purpose of the Statement of Intent is to establish a collaborative relationship between the government and Indigenous peoples in order to 'achieve equality in health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by the year 2030' (Statement of Intent 2008). At the time of signing, the life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was 17 years below that of other Australians.
|Detailed Information: |
The Statement of Intent was the culmination of an Indigenous Health Equality Summit held in Canberra from 18-20 March 2008.
The Summit was the result of a campaign by the Close the Gap Coalition - a group of over 40 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations committed to achieving Indigenous health equality within 25 years. For a list of member organisations, see HREOC (2008) Indigenous Health Campaign.
The Statement of Intent followed the Parliament of Australia's Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples (see link below), which referred to 'a new partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians ... [centred on] closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities' (see Statement of Intent 2008).
The Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the other signatories, commits in the Statement of Intent to nine points, namely:
'To developing a comprehensive, long-term plan of action, that is targeted to need, evidence-based and capable of addressing the existing inequities in health services, in order to achieve equality of health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030.
To ensuring primary health care services and health infrastructure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which are capable of bridging the gaps in health standards by 2018.
To ensuring the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representative bodies in all aspects of addressing their health needs.
To working collectively to systematically address the social determinants that impact on achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To building on the evidence base and supporting what works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and relevant international experience.
To supporting and developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health services in urban, rural and remote areas in order to achieve lasting improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.
To achieving improved access to, and outcomes from, mainstream services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
To respect and promote the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including by ensuring that health services are available, appropriate, accessible, affordable, and good quality.
To measure, monitor, and report on [their] joint efforts, in accordance with benchmarks and targets, to ensure that [they] are progressively realising [their] shared ambitions.'