Indigenous Health

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

Page last updated: 06 August 2014

Welcome to the Department of Health’s Indigenous 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. This site contains Indigenous health information from mainstream areas of the Department of Health as well as from the Indigenous and Rural Health Division.
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).

From 1 July 2014, the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme will be established, 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 will provide more flexibility to ensure funding is allocated to where the need is greatest and will reduce red tape and workload 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.

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.

    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.

    PDF version of Frequently asked questions on the changes in Indigenous health announced in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. (PDF 319 KB)
    Word version of Frequently asked questions on the changes in Indigenous health announced in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. (Word 62 KB)

    PDF version of Frequently asked questions on the Medicare patient contribution and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.(PDF 132 KB)
    Word version of Frequently asked questions on the Medicare patient contribution and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.(Word 31 KB)
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