Addressing the gap in Indigenous health: government Intervention or community governance? A literature review

Publisher:
eContent Publishing Management Pty Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Health Sociology Review, 2010, 19 (1), pp. 20 - 33
Issue Date:
2010-01
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The high incidence of sexual abuse of Indigenous children in remote Australia prompted the Australian Government to implement an emergency response of health and welfare measures (the Intervention) in 2007 to protect children and communities from harm. In this article we seek to assess the measures employed in the Intervention against the body of evidence of strategies likely to be effective in reducing Indigenous health disadvantage. Our view is that the emergency response may not have long-term benefit because of the dearth of basic primary health services in remote Aboriginal communities to continue the effort that the Intervention has begun. We conclude that Intervention measures are not sufficiently well aligned with evidence-based health improvement strategies to bring about long-term health gain in Indigenous communities. Governments must reassess the benefit of externally-imposed approaches to reducing health disparity and move to actively build capacity in Aboriginal communities to deliver culturally-relevant health and social services that meet community need.
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