A Policy Analysis of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Recommendation – Term Paper Example

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The paper "A Policy Analysis of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Recommendation " is a good example of a term paper on politics. Abstract This is a policy analysis of the final report of the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission on eliminating the health inequities experienced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for more than a century, as far as it relates to Queensland among other things in its agenda for “ A Healthier Future For All Australians” . As already pointed out in the Social Justice Reports of 2005 and 2008, the indigenous population has suffered from the lower life expectancy of 17 years compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.

This has been explained as mainly due to lack of will and indifferent attitude of the successive Governments and not due to lack of resources or capacity for alleviating the inequities faced by just 2.5 % of Australia’ s total population. The ‘ National apology’ to the indigenous people made in 2007 and the ‘ Close the Gap’ campaign of the Australian Human Rights Commission have caught the imagination of the Commonwealth Government under whose auspices the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission has made several recommendations for closing the gap starting first with the creation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Authority (NATSIHA).

Besides, the assuming of the responsibility by the Commonwealth Government will go a long way in correcting the unintentional wrongs done to the indigenous people of Australia. OBJECTIVE/S This is a policy analysis of recommendations of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) for improving a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, amongst other things, in so far as they relate to the state of Queensland.

This gains significance as the recommendations of NHHRC has come close on the heels of the campaign of “ closing the gap” between the health equities of indigenous and nonindigenous people of Australia. BACKGROUND The final report of the NHHRC has been submitted by the NHHRC after 16 months of interactions with governments, health professionals, experts, consumer interest groups and members of the general community after the initial reports entitled Beyond the Blame Game (April 2008) and A Healthier Future For All Australians: Interim report (December 2008).

The main thrust of the reform agenda is to address the problems some sections of the population facing in access to health care equitably besides redesigning the health system generally in view of the emerging challenges the entire people of Australia are exposed to. This makes it compelling for the governments to provide some leadership in addressing these issues. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Premiers of the State governments, Territory Chief Ministers, Parliamentarians, and the general public, in 2006 several agencies (see appendix 4) under the aegis of the Australian Human Rights Commission raised several issues concerning the indigenous people of Australia as follows.

(Australian Human Rights Commission) That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were being denied what the other Australians enjoyed for the last hundred years in respect of access to health. As a result, indigenous people suffered a reduced life expectancy by 17 years compared to other Australians. That it is a national scandal because they are allowed to die 17 years earlier having to needlessly suffer from illnesses for want of political will and action on the part of the Governments so far ruled the country rather than lack of solutions, resources or lack of commitments from governments.

The signatories exhorted the Governments to chart out a plan of action to enable the indigenous people to have equal access to heath within 25 years through bipartisan support from them all. The letter impressed upon the addressees that the indigenous Australians had been dying from diseases that were preventable. For example, rheumatic heart disease which has been eradicated among the rest of the Australians is still prevalent among the indigenous people mainly for the reason that they have lesser access to primary health care and due to poor health infrastructure available to them and hence this crisis should have a national priority adding that it was inconceivable that the nation is unable a solve a crisis affecting just 3 % of its population.

(Australian Human Rights Commission)

References

Australian Human Rights Commission, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Social Justice, available at < http://humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/health/health_OpenLetter.html > accessed on 10 October 2009

Close the Gap Statement of Intent (signed at the Indigenous Health Equality Summit, Canberra, and 20 March 2008). At www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/health/statement_intent.html (viewed 10 October 2009).

Deeble John, Assessing the health service use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, accessed 10 October 2009

Demographic Overview of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders available < http://www.atsip.qld.gov.au/government/programs-initiatives/closing-gap/documents/closing-the-gap-demographics.pdf> accessed 10 October 2009

Final Report, 2009, A Healthier Future For All Australians – Final Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission – June 2009, available at < http://www.health.gov.au/internet/nhhrc/publishing.nsf/Content/nhhrc-report > accessed 10 October 2009

Social Justice Report 2008, Chapter 5 - Progress towards achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality within a generation – an update on efforts to ‘Close the Gap’, available at < http://www.hreoc.gov.au/Social_Justice/sj_report/sjreport08/index.html >accessed on 10 October 2009

Social Justice Report 2008, A statistical overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, < http://www.hreoc.gov.au/Social_Justice/statistics/index.html#toc41> accessed 10 October 2009

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