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Analysis of Close the Gap Program

HSC203 Assignment 2 Report

1. Chosen an Indigenous health service, organisation or program and documented reasons for your choice

2. Developed and analysed a profile of the Indigenous health service, organisation or program, which may include some or all of the following:

Brief History, Vision and objectives, What the health service, organisation or program does, Membership (who makes up the community or target population), contacts and location, issues and challenges. 

3. Commented and critically reflected on your impressions of the Indigenous health service, organisation or program

4. Identified and analysed some specific or general issues or challenges for the Indigenous health service, organisation or program

5. Communicated clearly and provided a cohesive and supported argument by – using appropriate and accurate language, correct grammar and spelling, proof read and edited the assignment, and formatted with single line space only


Answer

Analysis of Close the Gap program 

Introduction

The condition of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not a secret to the world. However, several organizations take initiative with help of the government to improve their health and social conditions. Therefore, Close the Gap is an initiative which aims to attain health and life equality among the Indigenous and non-indigenous population of Australia. It is an Indigenous-led campaign which aiming to achieve equality gap within 2030. The campaign aspires to attain the success through the implementation of health care support and human rights-based approaches for the Aboriginal peoples.            

History 

The campaign was initiated in March 2006. At the initial stage, huge support from the Australian population has been observed.  Therefore, in 2007 the first day of Close the Gap was held and every state and territory was participating in this event to create awareness. Thus, it was reflecting the importance of the programme towards the nation. In 2007, under the federal government leadership, the Australian governments was agreed to adopt a national intergovernmental approach which could address the basic disadvantages of the Aboriginal peoples towards equality. The prime concentration was reducing child mortality and increasing the life expectancy. Therefore, the Council of Australian Governments was taken initiatives in the initial agreement. In 2008 a new partnership was established between the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) and Close the Gap Statement of Intent (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 Report, 2017).        

Vision and objective

The Close the Gap aim to close the gap by implementing human rights-based realistic plan which is supported by the partnerships between the representatives of the community and Australian governments. In 2006, Close the Gap was initiated to improve the health condition of the aboriginal population and reduce the social inequalities. In addition, the coalition of Close the Gap is demanding to take action by the governments for the Aboriginal population. In this respect the health equality can be achieved by implementing Indigenous health policies, providing financial support, increasing access to healthcare facilities, abolishing of malnutrition, unemployment, and housing problems. Thus, the campaign is also aiming to a partnership between the Indigenous communities and governments experts to identify the real crisis and plan a proper solution (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants, 2018). Therefore, their active participation in the health care program is also expecting. In addition, a useful partnership among the Indigenous and non Indigenous communities can help to make a proper decision and offer adequate opportunities. Thus, the campaign is based on the right to health. The programme is providing opportunities to be healthy by ensuring two prime fundamentals input: offering access to health care facilities which can increase life expectancy and providing basic needs for the population which can support their wellbeing.      

Membership

The programme has been achieved huge support since it was launched in 2006 by Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe.  Government and major political parties of Australia was signing the Statement of Intent and addition funding is organized by COAG. Thus it is aiming to create an effective partnership with Aboriginal communities and healthcare facilities.    

Program and services

The closing the gap strategy was established by the Australian governments following their consent of Close the Gap statement of intent from 2008 and onwards. It is a compact strategy between the governments and Aboriginal communities. Additionally, it is a human rights-based approach to maintain health equality among the society. Therefore, The Close the Gap approach is created on an understanding of health outcomes of the community and underlying structural factors which are responsible for the inequality. Thus, an appropriate consideration of social determinants along with abolition of racism, housing problems, and sufficient health care facilities would improve the overall conditions (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018). These essential elements of the society are required rectification for the actual improvement of the scenario. In general, it has been identified that the life expectancy of an Indigenous individual is 17 years lowers compared to non Indigenous individuals. Additionally, infant mortality is three times higher compared to other Australians (Burns, Potter & Drew, 2017). The goal of the campaign stated that the life expectancy of Indigenous people can be improved within a short time span by adopting correct means. The main aim of the campaign is to provide opportunities for the Indigenous children to live long with wealth and happiness.

The programme aims to reset the closing the gap strategy by creating a partnership between the Aboriginal health leaders and governments to design an effectual health policy. Increase the investment in Indigenous health policies as they required more attention and care. The program is funding for the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (2013-2023). Improving the services of primary health care centers and providing a long-term financial support to the Aboriginals. Moreover, the programme addresses the critical social complications which adversely affected the Indigenous health status (Holland, 2015). At last, it would maintain equilibrium among the non Indigenous, Indigenous and health services.        

Contacts and location 

The Close the Gap campaign is based on evidence which suggested that an improvement can be achieved within the short time frame. In this aspect, offering primary health care facilities to the Aboriginal community through the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services is able to increase the life expectancy within a decade. Therefore, it was an effective measure for the New Zealand to increase the life expectancy rate of Maori (Holland, 2015).  Under this campaign, identification of specific disease also helps in rapid improvement. The maternal health programme has proven a drastic reduction of low birth weight and infant mortality rate in Australia (Holland, 2015).     

Therefore, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are involved in the planning of local and regional policies along with National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Indigenous health professionals and an Indigenous community representative (Humanrights, 2018).  

 The services are operated and controlled by the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. They are providing great support to the community in every respect.

Challenges and issues 

The Australian government is aspiring that the health equality of the Indigenous people can be achieved by the Close the Gap. However, some promising development should be implemented for the better results. In 2007, the governments were agreed to create a partnership to close the gap of equality. Thus, it can improve the overall all outcome of the programme (Holland, 2018).  Better primary healthcare services are essential to avoid chronic problems. Therefore, offering a healthy lifestyle along with social and economic security can eliminate the chances of disease. The main problem about the Aboriginal communities is lack of awareness and accessibilities of health care facilities.  Thus, the rate of success is not satisfied due to lack of government funding and communities response. However, increasing the rate of immunization for the Aboriginal children signifies that the life expectancy and child mortality rate can be reduced in the future. Additionally, identification of social determinants can also resolve the problem (Holland, 2018). Thus, the Close the Gap can be achieved by educating the Indigenous community and providing the economical and social protection. 

Personal Reflection

The Close the Gap program is a national movement to sustain health equality in Australia. Therefore, I select the program to evaluate the exact scenario of improvement.  The life expectancy of the Aboriginal individual was gradually decreasing due to the negligence of Australian governments. However, this kind of initiative has improved the health condition of the concerned community but it requires enough time to eliminate the scar. Today the Aboriginal communities are vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and eye, ear infections. The programme would able to eliminate such negligence by implementing valuable polices.       

Conclusion 

At last, it can be concluded that the Australian governments are willing to improve the health condition of aboriginal populations. Thus, they are taken several initiatives; however, it will take sometimes to change the overall socio-economic condition of the concerned community. Therefore, the initiatives should be appreciated in term of effectiveness and community support.   

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