Recent developments in indigenous health monitoring in Australia

Fadwa M. Al-Yaman, Australian Institute of Heath and Welfare

2008 has seen a number of important changes in the area of Indigenous health in Australia. The newly elected Australian Government made a formal apology to the Indigenous people of Australia. The Prime Minister committed his government to begin, “Closing the gap; closing the gap between Indigenous Australia and non-Indigenous Australia”. Yet it may not be possible to measure whether the gap is closing. In the national census and at points of service delivery and registration, Indigenous people are identified by the asking of a standard question. For various reasons, identification has been poor. But while the “gap” may remain unknown, a “Healthy for Life’ initiative has generated detailed information from health centers. The AIHW is involved in the project, using the internet, to collect data from 80 health centers. Centers can compare their performance with national averages as well as monitor their own performance.

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Presented in Session 54: The demography of indigenous populations