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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience poorer health and die younger than other Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience much greater mortality and burden from chronic disease than non‑Indigenous Australians.

What we’re doing about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Closing the Gap is a commitment by all Australian governments to improve the lives of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In an effort to meet the health targets of Closing the Gap, we fund a range of programs and initiatives. These include:

  • Primary health care — we fund organisations, mostly Aboriginal community controlled health organisations (ACCHOs), to deliver Indigenous health services across Australia and support Indigenous health workers
  • Better access to Medicare services
  • Listings on the PBS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Closing the Gap PBS co-payment measure
  • Extra immunisations for free under the National Immunisation Program
  • Tackling Indigenous Smoking — this program aims to reduce the high rate of smoking amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Integrated team care — this program improves timely access to coordinated and multidisciplinary care for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic conditions
  • Remote area health corps — this program addresses critical short-term workforce shortages in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory by recruiting urban-based health professionals for short-term work
  • Funding programs that help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities develop local solutions to substance abuse issues that often contribute to violence
  • Research to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Independent consultants regularly review our Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme to make sure it’s effective. Learn more about our evaluation program and read the first phase of reports.

We also provide support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce to help them develop culturally appropriate health care.

Support services

Aboriginal Health Services

Use healthdirect's Aboriginal Health Services list to locate an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service near you.

View contact

Government agencies we work with

We work with other government agencies, including the National Indigenous Australians Agency to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.