Improving Aboriginal health Academic Article uri icon


  • In recognition of the recent achievements of the Close the Gap campaign, this issue of AHR contains a set of papers focusing on Aboriginal health. At the national Indigenous Health Equality Summit in Canberra in March 2008, the Close the Gap Statement of Intent was signed. This Statement of Intent requires the government, health and social service agencies and the Aboriginal communities to work together to achieve equality in health status and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by the year 2030. (See http:// intent.html) The first three papers present important policy lessons. Matthews and her colleagues stress the need to strengthen the link between policy formulation and implementation (page 613). Their study found that the lack of progress in improving Aboriginal health may be the result of lack of Indigenous involvement in policy formulation at the senior Australian Government level, limited participation of Indigenous community controlled health organisations in the policy making process and insufficient resources for implementation. Anderson, Anderson and Smylie outline the achievements of the National Indigenous Health Performance Measurement System (page 626), and change management lessons from Aboriginal community controlled health organisations are discussed by Leanne Coombe from the Apunipima Cape York Health Council (page 639). Other papers with a focus on Aboriginal health include a review of emergency department access (page 648), overseas-trained doctors working in rural and remote Aboriginal health settings (page 655) and eye health programs within remote Aboriginal communities (page 664).

publication date

  • 2008