The Fred Hollows Foundation welcomes an announcement by the Federal Government that a new health plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians will be developed with Indigenous people and organisations.

The Foundation’s Indigenous Programs Manager, Joy McLaughlin, believes the plan will be an important step towards closing the gap in life expectancy and infant mortality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“The Government’s decision to develop the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, in true partnership with Indigenous health leaders and organisations, is great news for health equality in this country,” McLaughlin said. 

“This inclusive approach provides equal standing for the Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, so that they can work with the Federal Government and State and Territory governments on a plan to address all the determinants of health.

“It’s the kind of approach that Fred Hollows would have wanted and it’s what we’ve supported for many years through our role in the Close the Gap campaign.”

There is a significant life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan will map the way forward for Government, health care and service providers, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in ensuring positive health outcomes.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council will provide strategic policy advice on the plan. An advisory group co-chaired by the Department of Health and Ageing and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples will inform the development and content of the plan.

“The Foundation would like to congratulate the Federal Government for adopting such an inclusive plan for Indigenous health,” McLaughlin said.

“We also congratulate the Congress on forming the National Health Leadership Forum - to make the most of this opportunity for partnership on the critical issue of Indigenous health.”

Learn more about Closing the Gap.