The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Queensland has received a $1.4 million boost in funding from the Queensland government to establish a local early childhood wellbeing program.
This funding was announced in conjunction with Closing the Gap Day, and it is intended to provide a link for Indigenous families to culturally appropriate care in the Moreton Bay region.
“Queensland’s Closing the Gap commitment includes targets focusing on life expectancy, healthy birth weight, early childhood education attendance and early development,’’ Craig Crawford, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships minister, said.
“This National Close the Gap Day, I’m proud of our commitment to back IUIH’s strong record in early childhood services.
“We support Indigenous-led and designed health care for the first three years of a child’s life to give young Queenslanders a great start.”
The Queensland government’s funding of the childhood wellbeing service was one of many releases made on the Closing the Gap Day that acknowledged more needed to be done to ensure the quality of life experienced by Indigenous people and their communities improves.
Dr Omar Khorshid, the president of the Australian Medical Association said the Association was committed to seeing an increase in the number of Indigenous doctors that are in practice but more needs to be done to support medical education and practice.
“The AMA is committed to the growth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors across the Australian medical workforce. Not only does parity improve the current workforce gaps, but also brings a depth of knowledge, experience and diverse perspectives into the health system,” Korshid said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations and programs are leading the way in strengthening the health and wellbeing of communities. We saw this as communities and the community-controlled sector took control of the response to the threat of COVID-19 with a coordinated, swift and culturally appropriate response.”
The AMA said it supported the key recommendations for structural reform that were set out in the Closing the Gap Report. One of the key recommendations for structural reform is for there to be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led research agenda for health and wellbeing.
A particular focus of the research agenda would be to explore how systematic racism impacts service delivery within the health system.
“Close the Gap Day is not only a reminder that we have more work to do, but it’s also a chance to take pause, and listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and honour their experience and direction,” Dr Khorshid said.