Community Participation: Policy For The Indigenous People

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Question :

Analyse and critique a policy, programme or proposal for Indigenous health

You may choose any proposal, or existing policy or programme relevant to Indigenous health. This includes measures that emanate from outside the health sector, but have a significant impact through the operation of the social determinants of health. You are asked to critically analyse it rationale it offers for such a need and the approach chosen. As well, it would be important to examine the content and methods in the light of the literature, both the peer-reviewed and as Indigenous organisational reports, government reports and non-peer-reviewed articles or on the grounds of thematic innovation, or pertinent Indigenous knowledge or perspectives, look at the level of community participation in design and operation, as well as what mechanisms are in place for appropriate information or educational material dissemination, or research transfer. Finally, it would be important to judge whether the task that it sets itself can actually be achieved by the approach taken and the methods employed:

How efficacious does it appear to be? How likely is it to succeed in its aims particularly in a sustainable way? What are the barriers to success? How might it be improved?

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Answer :

Closing the Gap in Life Expectancy within a generation


Closing the gap is considered to be the government strategy that primarily aims to reduce the disadvantages within the indigenous people. To effectively understand the policy and critically analyse the situation the closing the gap in life expectancy within a generation is being selected. The purpose of the paper is to provide a view on the community participation than the criticism and also regarding the policy for the indigenous people. The paper will also discuss regarding the numerous activities that have been performed by the government to fulfil the target of increasing the life expectancy of infants and the children by the year 2030.


The policy closing the gap is the governmental strategy which helps to reduce the disadvantages within the aboriginal as well as the Torres Strait Islander people. This policy consists of the life expectancy than child mortality, childhood education as well as the employment outcome (, 2018). The policy regarding the life expectancy within the generation in the closing the gap for the health system for the indigenous people. This policy is associated with the improvement of the life expectancy for the aboriginal people that also by the year 2030. The known Life Expectancy at the birth is sustainably lower for the aboriginal people as compared that with the other Australians (Islam, Jain, and Haque, 2016). The health condition of the aboriginal people especially for the child is being understood within the policy that allows the government to deal with the situation and provide the best outcome for the situation.

It is clear that the policy effectively deals with the rise of life expectancy among the generation with the suitable and effective health system and also with the help of valuable activities. Close the gap movement is considered to be the growing national movement (Davey, 2017). This policy deal with human rights and the activity that needs to be done for reducing the disadvantages to the aboriginal people within the country. The primary fact that could be understood from the policy shows that closing the gap help to deal with the health condition of the kids especially the new generation for the betterment of the future. The policy helps to focus on the fact that people living in the cities are highly accessible to the medical facilities and they can get 24-hour medical facilities (Gialamas et al., 2016). In the case of aboriginal people, they have 3 time’s shorter lives as compared to other Australians due to the lack of medical and healthcare facilities. 


The policy of life expectancy on the closing the gap help to maintain the lower life expectancy of the aboriginal people (Larkins et al., 2016). This policy was promoted due to the fact that the life expectancy of the aboriginal people was three times lower as compared to the other Australian people. In the year 2007, the COAG that is the council of Australian government has set the measurable targets to track as well as assess the developments in the health along with the well-being of the aboriginal people (, 2018). The primary target of this policy is to provide life expectancy within the generation for the children under five years of age. With the help of the policy, the awareness among the people especially the aboriginal mothers has enhanced. It can be seen that the aboriginal mother with pregnancy has reduced the smoking during their pregnancy period.

The maximum number of babies within the aboriginal communities have faced the less life expectancy and for that this policy effectively help the community to maintain the health facilities especially for the children. For the government, the increased number of death is always a primary concern which needs to be maintained effectively within the country. The situation is such a pathetic that almost 42% of the indigenous children face the short life expectancy (Fergus Hunter, 2017). This is mostly due to the birth trauma then the foetal growth disorder, then the complication during the pregnancy and much more that leads to the death of the children within the age group of 0-5 years. The likelihood for the success of the policy is high because people need understanding and the helping hand to reduce the aboriginal death rate of the children (Gracey, 2014). People are gradually becoming more concern regarding the health and safety of their children and for that this policy is highly effective. 

Content and methods 

The policy is being effectively developed every year with the new target and working function for developing the life expectancy of the children gaining between 0-5 years. This is due to the fact that within the year 2011 to 2015 almost 610 indigenous babies with the age of 0-5 years died where 500 babies were an infant. Ten key drivers for the life expectancy policy of closing the gap is the social determinants and the socioeconomic status (The Conversation, 2017). The social determinants that act as the key drivers for the change are the income level o0f the aboriginal people, then education, employment, and the housing facilities are highly associated with the policy of life expectancy in closing the gap policy. It can be seen that the cultural barriers that involve racism, as well as the lack of cultural awareness, are considered to be the vital issue for the life expectancy situation of the indigenous people (Wilson, 2014). Another barrier that has been achieved by the aboriginal people are the access to the medical facilities when that need the most. Indigenous people who are living in the non-remote area provided the report that they did not get proper care whenever they needed the care. 

Community participation in design and operation

Close the gap is the campaign for the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander people that provides the health equality by the year 2030. The aboriginals are the people who live in their traditional land where they did not get the proper treatment for the children and for that the death of children within the age 0-5 years are being faced by the people (ABC News, 2018). The government and the local communities have provided their helping hand to the aboriginal people regarding the life expectancy of the children with age 0-5 years. Numerous medical camp along with the partnership of the government with the indigenous people along with their representatives to share the view regarding medical treatment to the people (Gwynne et al., 2016). The progress of the entire situation is quite slow as to reach all the aboriginal people become quite difficult as most of them are not connected with the society. It can be seen that the entire situation needs to be developed effective for the valuable working function provided by the government to the aboriginal people. 

The implementation of the life expectancy policy faced numerous issues and challenges regarding the partnership of the indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia. This is due to the fact that aboriginal people are not accepted by the other people of Australia and for that, they lack various facilities. After the implementation of the policy, numerous people took part in the campaign and provided the most effective and the suitable working function within the country (Marmot, 2015). In this situation, the most valuable factor is to provide education to the pregnant mothers and all the people regarding the birth issue that might lead to the death of the infant or the babies of 0-5 years of age. Closing the gap policy is highly effective with the increment of awareness among the people and also the process that could be achieved for the development of increasing life expectancy of the babies (Anderson et al., 2016). The situation was out of control and for that it becomes much effective for the government to reduce the death of babies and provide valuable medical treatment to the infants and pregnant mothers.  

Providing the health benefits facilities to the indigenous people is one of the vital activity that needs to be formed with the help of government and the local communities. In this process, numerous non-governmental organisation have also provided their help for the support of people and also to increase the life expectancy of the babies within the aboriginal communities (Mitrou et al., 2014). The policy is effectively induced by the people to save the life of babies and provide a better future to the community. The aboriginal people need the education, awareness and also the medical facilities to maintain their children and the infant from facing any birth issue death. It is the primary aspect of the government for providing valuable and effective support to the people for the growth of life expectancy within the country (Angell, Eades, and Jan 2017). it can be seen that the primary theme of the target is to provide the most valuable and the suitable development process that allows the government with the local people to develop medical facilities for the aboriginal people. The education facility allows people to develop their understanding of the process of care and concern especially for pregnant women to keep their infant safe from the complication and death after birth. 

Criticism of closing the gap 

The closing the gap approach for the aboriginal people have faced numerous criticism within the field. The criticism of the approach is done due to various facts and mostly due to the focus of the government towards the problem rather than the strength (Brown et al., 2015). Furthermore, it can be seen that the closing the gap usually show the process of government in all the persuasion by which they can get away with the fatal incompetence especially when the matter is regarding the First Australian. In term of the life expectancy, the target of closing the gap is to increase the rate of life expectancy by the year 2030. The primary problem with the policy is that the government have made the target and the policy but they are unable to provide effective and suitable implication of the facts to the indigenous people. There is always a question regarding the goal of closing the gap in life expectancy within a generation by the year 2030 because the life expectancy is usually measured on the projection of the present pattern of the mortality (Freemantle et al., 2015). The mortality rate of the children can have a different value as there are numerous activities that harm the health condition of the kids. 

The government can induce the target regarding the development of the life expectancy of the indigenous people but at the same time, there is a doubt regarding the political activity on the target. The death rate of the child is due to the fact that pregnant women are not aware of the situation and also they prefer smoking and the atmosphere is also not suitable for the women to give birth (Phillips, Morrell, Taylor, and Daniels, 2014). Furthermore, it can be seen that Australia is not on track even to the close of the life expectancy gap within the indigenous as well as the non-indigenous people of Australia. There are also numerous facts regarding the situation show that the death of a child or the infant is considerably huge in term of the indigenous people because they are not getting the highly suitable and effective medical attention. The policy has been implemented but still, the condition of the infants and the pregnant mother have not changed a huge (Ford, Cade, Doyle, and Umstad, 2018). It is the fact that the government has to provide the medical treatment facilities to the infants and the children instantly as they required. The policy has been performed within the country for the indigenous people but it is of no use because the situation and the condition faced by the indigenous people are highly critical. 


The paper concludes the fact that the closing the gap in life expectancy within a generation by the year 2030 policy is one of the best policy for reducing the death rate of the infants and the babies within the age of 0-5 years. The paper also concludes that closing the gap policy support for the development of medical facilities for the indigenous people. The situation of the country is gradually decreasing with the improvement and enhancement of the government activities for performing numerous activities of government to maintain the health condition of the babies. There is a need to focus on some intermediate measures focused on short time frames to check whether or not infant health is improving. There is a need to take up antenatal care program, check the prevalence of smoking and alcohol usage during pregnancy, rates of breastfeeding and vaccination along with the incidence of low birth weight, pre-term births and diseases related to infants; and neonatal mortality rates. A regular check will help in getting clearer picture and the gaps can be filled with further initiatives and interventions.