Early Childhood Key to Lifelong Health for Indigenous Australians Report

Early Childhood Key to Lifelong Health for Indigenous Australians Report

10 December 2013

The Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, today commended the Australian Medical Association for publication of the 2012-13 Indigenous Health Report Card.

In speaking at the launch of the AMA report: The Healthy Early Years Getting the Right Start in Life, Senator Nash said the AMA was a proud advocate of Indigenous health, and the Report Card Series was an important resource that highlights the health inequalities that still exist for Indigenous Australians.

Importantly, the AMAs report doesnt simply outline the challenges; it makes practical recommendations about what can be done and this will contribute to Government planning on Indigenous health, Senator Nash said.

Aboriginal Australians more often have lower birth weights, have higher rates of chronic disease and die earlier than other Australians.

Low birth weight and poor health during early childhood put Aboriginal people at greater risk of a range of health problems and learning difficulties that can continue to impact them throughout their lives.

The Government is committed to getting kids into school, adults into work and ensuring the ordinary rule of law applies in communities. This cannot be achieved without a continued focus on health. Healthy kids can take advantage of education and healthy adults are better placed to take up employment opportunities, she said.

We are committed to working closely with the health sector, doctors and professionals and the community controlled health sector to tackle long-term problems with long-term solutions.

I know that together and with the deep personal conviction of the Prime Minister we can all make a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, she said.

The report can be viewed at the AMA website.