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AMA report card 2008: Ending the cycle of vulnerability: the health of Indigenous children

Posted on: 1 December, 2008
Issue: Vol 8 No 4, October 2008 - December 2008
Related to Child protection Infants and young children

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) released its 2008 report card, titled: Ending the cycle of vulnerability: the health of Indigenous children on 27 November 2008 at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, Canberra.

The AMA describes the significant gaps in health that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Australia. The Report Card concludes that to address the health gaps a long-term effort is needed, to comprehensively address the broader contextual factors and intergenerational health influences in Indigenous children’s lives. This can only be achieved with the engagement and participation of Indigenous communities and Indigenous health organisations in the development of health policy and programs.

The AMA calls for:

  1. The establishment of a national network of Aboriginal community-controlled primary health care services specifically for Indigenous mothers and children.
  2. The establishment of culturally appropriate services, addressing mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, to respond to the mental health needs of Indigenous children and carers.
  3. Development of the Indigenous health and medical workforce and development of strategies to maximize the engagement of the mainstream medical and health workforce.
  4. A national audit of the living environment conditions to measure housing conditions, access to clean water, sanitation facilities and the conditions of safe and healthy living.
  5. Federal Government coordination of national improvements in data management regarding Indigenous identification and health status.

The report card is accompanied by a ‘Good news and best practice insert’, which contains case studies of successful local health initiatives developed and sustained by Indigenous people in their local communities.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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