The Impact of Closing the Gap on Indigenous Health

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Closing a gap entails the practice of reducing the life expectancy gap through the improvement of the mortality rate of the indigenous people from the chronic disease like the circulatory problems (Day, & Francisco, 2013). The target is important because it helps in reducing the disadvantage among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on their life expectancy, employment outcomes, educational accomplishments, early childhood learning, and child mortality (Rosenstock et al., 2013) and (Panaretto et al., 2014).

The target is on track because the government has reduced the life expectancy gap in the periods between 2005-2007 and 2010-20102 to 0.8 for male citizens and 0.1 for the female dwellers (Stoneham, Goodman, & Daube, 2014) and (Gracey, 2014). However, the target was the improvement of life expectancy by about 0.6 to 0.8 years per year (Green, & Minchin, 2014). The strategies that have been utilized and presently utilized for the target to be met are; increased food security, boosting of the nutrition levels for the remote indigenous communities Donato and Segal, (2013), and being certain that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to affordable and healthy food (Taylor, & Barnes, 2013).

It would be recommendable for the government to support towards the provision of nutrition to all infant children Mitrou et al., (2014), especially those from the remote community to enhance effective achievement of the target even in the future or by 2031 (Parker, & Milroy, 2014).

In conclusion, closing the gap on the indigenous health is vital since it helps in improving the health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Based on the closing gap strategy that was launched in 2009, it would be necessary to increase life expectancy by 2031.


Day, A., & Francisco, A. (2013). Social and emotional wellbeing in Indigenous Australians: identifying promising interventions. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 37(4), 350-355.

Donato, R., & Segal, L. (2013). Does Australia have the appropriate health reform agenda to close the gap in Indigenous health?. Australian Health Review, 37(2), 232-238.

Gracey, M. (2014). Why closing the Aboriginal health gap is so elusive. Internal medicine journal, 44(11), 1141-1143.

Green, D., & Minchin, L. (2014). Living in the climate-changed country: Indigenous health, well-being and climate change in remote Australian communities. EcoHealth, 11(2), 263-272.

Mitrou, F., Cooke, M., Lawrence, D., Povah, D., Mobilia, E., Guimond, E., & Zubrick, S. R. (2014). Gaps in Indigenous disadvantage not closing: a census cohort study of social determinants of health in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand from 1981–2006. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 201.

Panaretto, K. S., Wenitong, M., Button, S., & Ring, I. T. (2014). Aboriginal community controlled health services: leading the way in primary care. The Medical Journal of Australia, 200(11), 649-652.

Parker, R., & Milroy, H. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health: an overview. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice. 2nd ed. Canberra: Department of The Prime Minister and Cabinet, 25-38.

Rosenstock, A., Mukandi, B., Zwi, A. B., & Hill, P. S. (2013). Closing the Gaps: competing estimates of Indigenous Australian life expectancy in the scientific literature. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 37(4), 356-364.

Stoneham, M., Goodman, J., & Daube, M. (2014). The portrayal of Indigenous health in selected Australian media. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 5(1), 1-13.

Taylor, A., & Barnes, T. (2013). ‘Closing the Gap in Indigenous life expectancies: what if we succeed?. Journal of Population Research, 30(2), 117-132.

October 13, 2023


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