Don’t slash Indigenous health funding: Close the Gap

Campaigns and Advocacy, Indigenous Affairs, Media Releases, News article written on the 21 Dec 2012

The Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee today called on the Federal Government to maintain Indigenous health funding, in its submission to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan.

The plan, for which consultations have been held over the past 8 weeks, will replace the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health which expires in 2013.

Close the Gap Campaign co-chair Mick Gooda said the Steering Committee commended the government on its commitment to develop a long term plan to Close the Gap, a longstanding call of the Campaign.

“The plan will be critical for building on the foundations in place and ensuring continued efforts to meet the challenge of closing the gap by 2030,” Mr Gooda said.

“It is particularly timely given the $1.6 billion National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Health Outcomes is due to expire in June 2013.”

Mr Gooda  said the campaign was seeking assurances from the Government that investment in Indigenous health funding would continue after this period, given all parties had committed to the 2030 target to close the gap on Indigenous health inequality.

“We cannot take our eye off the ball or fall into any sense of complacency in relation to Indigenous health,” he said.

“Because we are now seeing some early signs of progress towards closing the gap, it is even more important to maintain commitments of both funds and effort as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are still dying too young.”

“The National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Health Outcomes must be renewed with at least the same level of funding to build on the strong foundations in place.”

“Ongoing funding is vital so that this work can continue.  The bipartisan commitment to closing the gap cannot fall victim to budget cuts.”

“With 180,000 supporters of the Close the Gap Campaign, it’s clear the Australian public expects ongoing investment commensurate with need.”

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