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Future initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Continuing to close the health gap will require innovation; long-term, systematic approaches that improve the quality and integrity of data; collaborations and partnerships that reflect an ecological approach to health, and recognition of the proper place and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian society

At long last there are signs that the gaps between the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people are closing — but systematic, long-term action needs to continue both within and outside the health system to realise true health equality, and for us to know that we have achieved it.

According to the 2012 report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework, a number of positive trends in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health include:

  • the mortality rate has declined significantly (by 33%) between 1991 and 2010 among people living in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory combined;

  • deaths due to avoidable causes decreased significantly in WA, SA and the NT combined, down 24% between 1997 and 2010;

  • deaths from respiratory disease decreased significantly from 1997 to 2010,…

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