Closing the gap in Indigenous health inequity - Is it making a difference?

L. Deravin, K. Francis, J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper will review progress towards the identified targets within the Australian government policy document commonly known as 'Closing the Gap' and examine the role of nurses in supporting its implementation. Background: Australia is not alone in seeking to address the health inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Globally such health inequities are similar and require interventions supported by governments in conjunction with health and education systems to affect desired change. For this reason, it is timely to undertake a review of progress on the impact of the Closing the Gap initiative. Sources of evidence: The Australian national partnership agreement and subsequent annual performance reports issued between 2010 and 2017. Discussion: Targets set within the Australian government national partnership agreement have had a range of success. Those targets not on track require significant long-term investment to ensure their success. Nurses as a large professional group are powerful advocates to speak up and support policy change that affects disempowered social groups. Conclusion: Long-term social change takes time, yet without the commitment of Australian Governments through effective policy and economic support, the inequity in the health of Indigenous people will continue both now and in the future. Implications for health and social policy: Nurses, as the largest health professional group, are uniquely placed to support and implement social change at all levels of health care (primary, secondary and tertiary) and to lobby government to amend policy alongside those who are disempowered. Implications for nursing practice: Health promotion and education programmes that are led by nurses can make an impact to health disparities within groups who are most at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Volume65
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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