National disgrace: Health disparity between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians
The Rev. Harry Herbert today slammed the health inequality experienced by Indigenous Australians, calling it a national disgrace.
“We’re living in a so-called ‘lucky country’ yet the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community experiences an inequitable quality of health,” said Mr Herbert, the Executive Director of leading community services provider, UnitingCare NSW.ACT.
“Complacency is not an option when Indigenous Australians currently have a substantially shorter lifespan of up to 20 years compared to the wider population.”
Mr Herbert said that UnitingCare had Indigenous specific services in New South Wales and staff were only too familiar with some of the daily challenges faced by Indigenous communities where those services were based.
According to Oxfam Australia, babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at twice the rate of other Australian babies. And they experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
“I urge the Federal Government to provide a public response to supporters of Close the Gap Day about what they’re doing to improve the situation and, importantly, what success rate there is for these measures.”
National Close the Gap Day is on Thursday, March 24, and offers the general community a chance to speak out about improving health conditions for Indigenous Australians.
UnitingCare NSW.ACT is committed to providing and improving opportunities for Indigenous Australians through its service delivery and its Indigenous Employment Strategy, which commits the organisation to two per cent of its workforce consisting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.