Hunter New England Local Health District respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land in which our health facilities are located, and pay respect to the Elders, community members and the community-controlled sector who partner with us to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our District.
Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) is home to approximately 60,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which make up around 5% of the total population across the District.
Our organisation has a responsibility as a public health service to provide appropriate and effective healthcare to all population groups within the HNE Health region. The culture of our facilities and the way we deliver our services can impact greatly on health outcomes and on how comfortable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples feel in accessing our services, and we take this responsibility seriously, working to increase the cultural competence of the staff across our organisation and facilities to ensure services are culturally appropriate.
Closing the Gap
Why Focus on Closing The Gap?
Closing the Gap is a national strategy that aims to reduce Indigenous disadvantage with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes. Closing the gap is a formal commitment developed in response, to achieve Aboriginal health equality within 25 years. Current statistics clearly demonstrate the inequity that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians experience.
All Australian governments are responsible for actively contributing to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face disadvantage and poorer outcomes across most physical, social and emotional aspects of life compared to the general Australian population. These outcome differences are commonly referred to as the ’gap’. As a government health service, HNE Health has a responsibility to contribute to closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
HNE Close the Gap Model
The diagram below highlights the organisation's approach to Closing the Gap.