Indigenous Health

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

Page last updated: 24 July 2015

Welcome to the Department of Health’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health site. The Department of Health works in conjunction with other Government Departments, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

From this launching page you will find information about Indigenous health activities.

Indigenous Health: 2014-15 Budget Outcomes

The Australian Government is committed to the delivery of effective and efficient health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 2014-15 more than $920 million will be spent on the provision of health programmes specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This includes Medicare and access to pharmaceuticals through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Overall, funding levels for Indigenous health will continue to grow over the next four years. From 2014-15 to 2017-18, the Australian Government will invest $3.1 billion in Indigenous specific health programmes and activities – an increase of over $500 million compared to 2009-10 to 2012-13 (excluding funding provided through Medicare and access to the PBS).

The Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme was established on 1 July 2014, consolidating four existing Indigenous health funding streams: primary health care base funding; child and maternal health activities; Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Health); and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund. This provides more flexibility to ensure funding is allocated to where the need is greatest and reduces red tape and workloads for grant recipients.

A new funding allocation methodology for Indigenous health funding will be developed by the Department of Health during 2014-15 and implemented from 2015-16. This will ensure investments are directed to areas of need, priorities and population growth and deliver the most effective outcomes.

This funding allocation methodology will include funding under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme for Indigenous specific comprehensive primary health care, child and maternal health services, the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Health) and activities under the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund.

The Australian Government through the 2014-15 Budget will also expand activities in key areas to close the gap and achieve health equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, including child and maternal health, and improved chronic disease prevention and management.

The Government is expanding programmes that have demonstrated their effectiveness in improving health outcomes including:
  • $94 million to expand efforts to improve child and maternal health through Better Start to Life; and
  • $36.2 million to expand the Healthy for Life programme into a further 32 Aboriginal community controlled health organisations to improve the management of chronic disease.
Indigenous people in remote areas of the Northern Territory will also have access to essential services through the $11.9 million re-investment from 2015-16 for Indigenous primary health care service delivery amongst high needs populations in the Northern Territory and to enable some regions to move to community control.

For specific information on the department’s programmes addressing the health issues of Rural and Regional Australians visit the Rural and Regional Health pages of the Department of Health’s website.

Tackling smoking is also a key priority for the Australian Government. A Review of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking programme will be undertaken in 2014 to ensure the programme will be implemented efficiently and in line with the best available evidence. Expansion of the Tackling Smoking measure will be paused while the Review is undertaken to ensure it is being implemented efficiently and service delivery will continue throughout the Review process.

Indigenous Health 2014-15 Budget – Questions and Answers (Word 62 KB)
Indigenous Health 2014-15 Budget – Questions and Answers (PDF 319 KB)


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