A significant number of Indigenous Australian health outcomes are on track to be achieved within four years, an annual Report Card has revealed.
The annual Report Card on the Implementation Plan for The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013 to 2023, shows 12 of the 20 goals named in the Plan are on track to be achieved by 2023.
The immunisation target for five-year-old children has been exceeded, with 97 per cent of Indigenous five-year-olds fully immunised, compared to 95 per cent of other children.
All three goals in the maternal health and parenting domain, plus the target for immunisation of two-year-olds, are on track to be achieved by 2023, while all goals related to smoking are expected to be accomplished by the Plan’s completion.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, thanked the members of the Implementation Plan Advisory Group, the National Health Leadership Forum and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, communities and stakeholders, for their involvement in the development of the Report Card.
“The IHRF is the first national research program led by Indigenous people at all levels, and conducted with close engagement with Indigenous communities,” Minister Hunt said.
“We have set other clear goals to end avoidable Indigenous blindness by 2025, end avoidable Indigenous deafness, and eliminate rheumatic heart disease over the course of this decade.
“These are top priorities within the Morrison Government’s new $160 million, 10-year Indigenous Health Research Fund (IHRF), funded through the Medical Research Future Fund.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, welcomed the announcement, saying the progress was a result of “strong collaboration between the Government and Australia’s Indigenous community".
“Our focus is on practical outcomes and empowering local communities to have their say when it comes to the decision-making of Government,” Minister Wyatt said.
“That’s why we’re working with Indigenous communities and governments throughout Australia to improve health outcomes and help close the gap through co-design.”
The Morrison Government is committed to improving the eight goals currently unmeasurable or behind predicted figures.
Over four years from 2019-20, the Government will invest $4.1 billion in dedicated health programs for Indigenous Australians.
These investments are only possible because of our strong economic management.