Why is Aboriginal Health a target population group?
Aboriginal people have the lowest health status of any identifiable population group in Australia. Life expectancy for Aboriginal people is 15 to 20 years less than the general community and prevalence of disease is up to 12 times higher than the Australian average. Aboriginal health encompasses a holistic approach that includes physical, spiritual and mental health.
Some key aspects that contribute to the health of Aboriginal people include culture, identity, land, housing, employment and education. The Aboriginal Health Unit strives to improve the standard of health of Tasmania’s Aboriginal people to a level equal to that of fellow Tasmanians.
Aims of Aboriginal Health Unit
The Aims of Aboriginal Population and Health Priorities are to:
- work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to reduce inequalities and promote the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in Tasmania; and
- assist the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services to be responsive and culturally appropriate to the particular needs and circumstances of Aboriginal people.
What we do
Population and Health Priorities, through the leadership of the Aboriginal Health Policy Officer, develops policy and strategic plans to promote improved health and wellbeing outcomes for Tasmanian Aboriginal communities. This involves maintaining a consultative structure to communicate with Aboriginal communities.
The Unit seeks to identify the health and wellbeing needs and priorities of Tasmanian Aboriginal communities and undertakes research and gathers evidence in order to understand what constitutes "best practice" in the delivery of services to Aboriginal communities.
The Aboriginal Health Policy Officer provides advice to the Minister and other Agency staff on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.
In addition the Unit provides information, education, cross cultural awareness training and high level advocacy around Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues, and provides support to, and advocates for, dedicated Aboriginal health workers and liaison officers within the Department.
The Unit also acts as an advocate for whole of government action, and works in collaboration across sectors in recognition of the fact that health and wellbeing is determined by a range of factors such as: income, social status, social support networks, education, employment, social environments and access to services.