Tuesday 11 September 2012Health plan process must demonstrate partnership
The Close the Gap Campaign has welcomed the release of the Discussion Paper towards developing a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan.
“The release of this Discussion Paper marks the beginning of consultations towards a national plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality,” Campaign co-chair and Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said.
“The most critical ingredient in this process from this point on and at every stage in developing this plan is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be front and centre.”
Campaign Co-chair Jody Broun also welcomed the release of the discussion paper and again emphasised the importance of partnership.
“Closing the gap needs the involvement of all of our peoples,” Ms Broun said.
“Without the genuine and active involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every step of the way in our efforts to close the gap, we risk making only minuscule progress when the momentum among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve so much more is there to be harnessed.
"The plan must develop structures and processes at the national, regional and local levels to ensure genuine partnership.”
The commitment to developing a national plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality was announced in November last year.
“A business as usual approach will not close the gap,” Mr Gooda said.
“Past plans have shown that there must be shared ownership by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and by governments.
“This type of shared ownership can only be achieved through respectful and honest relationships.”