"Australia worst in the world for indigenous health
The health of Aborigines lags almost 100 years behind other Australians and they are the sickest indigenous people of all the wealthy nations, a report by the World Health Organisation says.
The report into indigenous health worldwide found Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders had significantly worse results than non-indigenous people on every health indicator, resulting in an average life expectancy 17 years below that of white Australians and an average age of death of just 33 for Aboriginal males in some parts of NSW.
Some Aborigines still suffer from leprosy, rheumatic heart disease and tuberculosis, which were banished from the white population decades ago, says the report, compiled by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and presented to the WHO's Commission on the Social Determinants of Indigenous Health in Adelaide yesterday.
The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, said the gap was "something which no one can be happy about but if it were easy to tackle it would have been tackled a long time ago. It's all very well to talk about formal apologies but I think indigenous people and the general population are much more interested in seeing better practical outcomes than in gestures, however meaningful those gestures might be to some".
He said a funding increase was likely in the budget, but not in the area of $500 million. "You have to have the infrastructure in place to get results. We want to make sure that as far as is humanly possible, we get results from our spending.""
Oh, ain't I just proud to be part of this country.