Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

From this launching page you will find information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs as well as contact information for people working within OATSIH.

Page last updated: 15 February 2013

Welcome to the Department of Health and Ageing’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health site. The Department of Health and Ageing takes a whole of government approach to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This site contains Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health information from mainstream areas of the Department of Health and Ageing as well as from Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).

From this launching page you will find information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs.

Our vision for the future is health outcomes and health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples equal to that of the general Australian community.


The role of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH)

OATSIH was established to give a greater focus to the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in mainstream health programs, and to assume responsibility for the administration of funding to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health.

The long-term strategy of OATSIH is to improve the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to comprehensive primary health care services. The aim is to provide coordinated clinical care, population health and health promotion activities to facilitate illness prevention, early intervention and effective disease management. Evidence from Australia and overseas shows that improved access to comprehensive primary health care can make a real and sustainable difference to health status in the longer term.

This strategy is firmly based on the principle of working in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health sector.

The Department is pursuing a three way approach

    1. Aims to improve access to, and responsiveness of, the mainstream health system
    2. Ensure complementary action through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific health
    3. Collaborate across governments and the health sector to improve service delivery and outcomes
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing through OATSIH is committed to supporting sustained action coordinated across all governments to achieve health improvements over time.

Better health relies on a complex interaction between many factors, one of which is access to good health care services. Given adequate resources, high quality comprehensive primary health care can make a significant contribution to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ current health needs, and the emerging burden of chronic disease that they face into the future.

Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is not just about improving the physical wellbeing of an individual. It is about working towards the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the whole community in which each individual is able to achieve their full potential as a human being.


If you would like to contact OATSIH in relation to any of the information on this site, please email OATSIH Enquiries.

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