Indigenous Child Health Measures Welcomed

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13th May 2009, 03:39pm - Views: 458

Community Health CRC For Aboriginal Health 1 image

Indigenous child health measures welcomed

May 13 2009

The announcement of an additional $204 million for remote primary health in last night’s

budget has been welcomed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.

CEO Mick Gooda said the Government’s concentration on building investment in early

childhood development was a “positive strategy” and increased allocations to ear and

eye health is welcome after “an extended period of ignoring the problem and

condemning our children to a life of disability and reduced opportunities.” 

“A new long overdue program aimed at improving Indigenous rural and regional dental

health is also welcomed,” said Mick Gooda. “However you would have to question how

far an investment of $11 million over fours years is going to go, given the extent of the

problem and the debilitating impact of poor dental health on a range of other health


Mr Gooda said the budget allocations to Indigenous education, housing, employment,

infrastructure, sport and other social determinants of health would have a longer term

positive impact of Indigenous health.

“The relationship between these social determinants and the current poor health of our

people means that increased investment in health services without concurrent advances

in areas such as housing quality, education and employment will not necessarily pay the

health-improvement dividends that might otherwise result.

“The key to making sure we get the best results out of health and other investments into

the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is good evidence about

what the priorities are and what works; and the key to developing this evidence base is

high quality research.

“The CRCAH will continue to provide the Rudd Government and the States and

Territories with the sort of research advice that will ensure dollars go to where they will

have the biggest impact”, said Mick Gooda.

“One area that needs an immediate boost is health workforce training and we intend to

work to ensure that a fair share of the $108 million allocated to increase access to higher

education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds is used to increase the current

low representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying medicine

and the health sciences.”

For further information:

Alastair Harris CRCAH Communications – 0409 658 177 

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