Indigenous health: can occupational therapy respond to the challenge to 'Close the Gap'?

Wronski, Ian, Stronach, Pam, and Felton-Busch, Catrina (2011) Indigenous health: can occupational therapy respond to the challenge to 'Close the Gap'? Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58 (1). pp. 1-2.

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Abstract

[Extract] The health of Indigenous Australians continues to be a national embarrassment. Life expectancy at birth remains some 20 years less (Thomson et al., 2010) and Indigenous Australians continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease, mainly from chronic diseases (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2008). Ominously, Indigenous communities are also at the frontline of re-emerging tropical infectious disease in the Torres Strait and northern Queensland.

Attempts by the government in previous decades to redress the poor status of Indigenous health have had little success (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, 2005). This failure prompted a call in 2005 by the then Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, for the governments of Australia to commit to achieving equality for Indigenous people in the areas of health and life expectancy within 25 years (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner).

The government responded with the 'Closing the Gap' strategy that aims to reduce Indigenous disadvantage with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes by 2030 (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, 2005).

Item ID: 21845
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 1440-1630
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 05:21
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 50%
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