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2007 AMA Indigenous Health Report Card - "Institutionalised Inequity - Not Just a Matter of Money"

This Report Card addresses gaps in life expectancy and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The AMA recommends a range of improvements in access to primary care for Indigenous people. This Report Card includes a number of Good News Stories about relevant projects or initiatives that are having a significant impact on Indigenous people’s health. 

22 May 2007

The AMA released its 2007 Report card: Insitutionalised Inequity. Not Just a matter of money on 22nd May at Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 182-190 Wakefield Street, Adelaide.

In the 2007 Report Card the AMA call for:

  1. An additional $460 million a year in targeted resources, particularly for community controlled primary care
  2. Commitment to a target of 2.4 per cent of all health professionals being from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds by 2012
  3. Mainstream services to focus current resources to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The AMA believes all Australian governments must commit:

  1. To achieve the same life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as for other Australians within a generation, and to close the life expectancy gap to 10 years or less by 2015
  2. To ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have geographical, financial, and cultural access to comprehensive primary health care services by 2012
  3. To Aboriginal community control as the preferred option for providing appropriate and accessible comprehensive primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  4. To all health services provided specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be designed, developed, and controlled by the communities they serve, in collaboration with mainstream services
  5. To services provided specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be increasingly provided by those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
  6. To improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to all Medicare rebated services and the PBS for example by reducing to zero the PBS and MBS safety nets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  7. To fund health services to achieve outcomes agreed by the community, rather than some benchmarked 'fair' level. Only when parity in life expectancy has been achieved would any such sense of 'fair' be appropriate
  8. To make it part of the accreditation process that all government funded and private health services provide culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  9. To make it part of the accreditation process that all government and private health service providers have:
  • A policy on recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
  • A Charter detailing the level of service an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient will receive, including arrangements to ensure cultural issues are recognised and addressed within each service
  • A system to provide interpretation and cultural support where necessary for patients
  • A cultural awareness and safety-training program to ensure all staff understand and implement the Charter commitments.

The Good News Stories insert includes examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific programs that represent good investments to reduce the inequities.

AMA Media Release - Time To Remove the Barriers Preventing Indigenous Australians Getting Equal Access To Quality Health Care


Published: 22 May 2007