Bridging the Health Equity Gap - A Submission from the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission

On 13 February 2008, the Federal Government delivered an Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples. The Prime Minister’s address to the House of Representatives, witnessed live on television by hundreds of thousands of people, was a dramatic and moving event. In his speech, and following the commitment of all Australian Governments at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in December 2007, the Prime Minister publicly pledged to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.Two weeks later, the Government formally approved the establishment of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC), giving it the task of developing a long-term health reform plan for a modern Australia, including the need to improve Indigenous health outcomes.This submission from the Cooperative Research Centre on Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) will set out some of the key strategies by which this particular goal can be met. In doing so, the submission will inevitably touch upon several other of the NHHRC’s terms of reference.