Close The Gap Day, March 19, Now “More Important Than Ever”

Members of BRHS’ Community Wellbeing & Partnerships and Aboriginal Health Unit teams – Adrian Morgan, Sue McInnes, Narelle Bragg, Linda Daniel, Amanda Blandford and Lynette Bishop. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS

 

The stark truth is that on average Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander die younger than non-Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live at least 10 years fewer than other Australians.

The entire community is invited to BRHS on Thursday, March 19, to show your support for health equality for Indigenous Australians.

Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

The mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

This alarming situation is the reason why every year we hold an event at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service on Close The Gap Day.

“The Gap” refers to the gap in health, education and other outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The entire community is invited to BRHS on Thursday, March 19, to show your support for health equality for Indigenous Australians.

At 12 p.m. there’ll be a Welcome to Country, followed by a sausage sizzle and afternoon tea.

On hand will be staff from local health organisations that serve the Aboriginal community.

“It was disappointing to see that very little progress had been made in terms of mortality rates and health outcomes for Aboriginal people.”

So you’ll be able to meet these helpful and knowledgeable people and learn more about what Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) do and how they are closing the gap.

Aboriginal Access & Support Worker Lynette Bishop said that despite the good work that BRHS had done in recent years to improve our services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as a nation we had not closed the gap in health.

“It was disappointing to see in the 11th annual Close The Gap progress report last year that very little progress had been made in terms of mortality rates and health outcomes for Aboriginal people,” Lynette said. “So continuing to highlight Close The Gap Day and promote improving health services for Indigenous people is more important than ever.”


WHAT: Close The Gap Day

WHEN: 12 – 2 p.m., Thursday, March 19.

WHERE: BRHS Main Hospital Campus, 122 Day Street, Bairnsdale.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend.


New BRHS Koori Hospital Liaison Officer Narelle Bragg urges all East Gippslanders to show their support for improving health care equality by signing the Close The Gap Pledge at antar.org.au/closethegappledge

“And ask your friends and colleagues to do the same,” she says. “Close the Gap is a time for all Australians to come together and commit to achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”

If you have any questions about Close The Gap Day, or would like to know more about our services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, you can contact our Aboriginal Health Unit on (03) 5150 3364 or aboriginalhealthunit@brhs.com.au