- + : Aboriginal health
In 2011, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprised 2.5% of the total NSW population. The NSW Aboriginal population is 94.4% Aboriginal only, 3.4% Torres Strait Islander only, and 2.2% both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. In HealthStats NSW, the term ‘Aboriginal’ is used to refer to all of these peoples.
Burden of disease and social and economic disadvantage among Aboriginal people
There are many and complex reasons for the health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people including:
• socioeconomic factors such as low incomes, high unemployment, and low educational levels
• environmental factors such as poor living environments, substandard and overcrowded housing, poor sewerage and water quality and access to affordable healthy food
• social and political factors including removal from land, separation from families, dislocation of communities, culturally inappropriate services, and poor cross-cultural communication
• lack of access to primary health care
• specific health risk factors such as poor nutrition, hazardous alcohol use, high tobacco use and low levels of physical activity.
Strategies to improve Aboriginal Health
NSW Health is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal people and other government agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people. This means that Aboriginal people are involved in the process of identifying and deciding on their health priorities and participate in the planning and delivery of their health services.
This commitment has been formalised in a number of key strategic and policy documents which can be found at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/Pages/policies-and-documents.aspx. These include the NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013-2023 (http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/Publications/aboriginal-health-plan-2013-2023.pdf).
Centre for Aboriginal Health at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/Pages/policies-and-documents.aspx
NSW Aboriginal Health Plan 2013-2023. Available at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/Publications/aboriginal-health-plan-2013-2023.pdf
NSW Ministry of Health at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal/Pages/default.aspx
Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au
Healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au