Indigenous Health Report

This report has been prepared as a contribution towards Federal Government funding allocations and health promotion initiatives to address the major inequalities that exist in the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples. According to research [1] ATSI peoples experience a much poorer level of health than those non-indigenous, they die at a younger age and are more likely to experience disability and reduced quality of life because of ill health. To achieve greater health equity for ATSI peoples, it is essential to recognise that their level of health and wellbeing results from a complex interplay of factors or determinants of health. These may be organised into four interconnected categories: Socioeconomic factors – education, employment, income; Individual factors – knowledge, skills, attitudes, genetics and behaviours; sociocultural factors – family, peers, media, religion and culture and environmental factors – geographic location, access to health services, access to technology, climate change and tobacco smoke

Socioeconomic factors of a population refer to characteristics such as education, employment and income. A [7]significant proportion of ATSI peoples experience socioeconomic disadvantage in [3]gross income, unemployment and education, which limits their choices and opportunities for improving health outcomes, and influences other health-related factors, such as proper diet and access to health care. Due to this, they tend to live shorter and less healthy lives.
Access to education is an important determinant of health and wellbeing. There remains large gaps between indigenous and other Australians in educational participation and attainment. This is indicated by the retention rate to year 12 of [3]45% for indigenous students compared to 75% for their non-indigenous peers. Low education and literacy levels significantly affect ATSI people’s capacity to use a wide range of health related materials and are linked to...