Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have long recognised that the health of Aboriginal communities is below standards acceptable to other Australians. There are significant barriers encountered by Aboriginal families when accessing health services. In response to this need the
- Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector developed during the 1970’s and onwards
- The Health Commission of Victoria established the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Program in 1982.
Despite improvements to the health of Aboriginal people in Victoria over the last 40 years, “…Aboriginal Victorians experience poorer health outcomes in almost every measure of health.” Nationally “the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women.” (Department of Health, Vic)
To ‘Close the Gap’ and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of Victoria to enjoy equitable health outcomes requires the whole health care system to be responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people.
Information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients:
Gippsland Medicare Local runs a program called “Closing the Gap”. The aim of the program is to ask General Practices to improve health care for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people by
- Improving cultural safety.
- Improving the identification of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients.
- Improving prevention, diagnosis and management of chronic diseases among Aboriginal patients.
Gippsland Medicare Local provides support to the aboriginal community by employing and supporting Aboriginal Health Workers.
Information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients
- Are you Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander (poster).doc
- Aboriginal Health Check flier.doc
- Free or Low cost Medications Flier.doc
- Gippsland Black Pages for Community Members