The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples present their Indigenous Strategic Framework statement on their history, culture, needs and rights.
The Māori peoples present their Indigenous Strategic Framework statement on their history, culture, needs and rights.
The College has a strong commitment to equitable health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand, and this Framework serves to consolidate and strengthen our work in this vital area. The Framework reflects key priorities developed through a comprehensive engagement process with members, including Indigenous leadership both within the College and with external peak Indigenous health bodies.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Māori experience significantly higher burdens of ill-health, and shorter life expectancies, in comparison to non-Indigenous populations. A focus on early life experiences and environments is key to reducing adverse health outcomes; from childhood mortality, early and ongoing poor health, through to improved life expectancy. Although some gains have been made, health disparities remain unacceptable when compared with continued improvements in non-Indigenous health. Complex factors have contributed to the current situation including the ongoing effects of colonisation, dispossession, and loss of identity, culture and land. Social determinants of health also impact on Indigenous people’s health; poverty, housing, environment, education, employment, social capital; and racism, discrimination, and culturally unsafe health services all contribute to poor health outcomes.
We recognise the disparity in opportunity and the non-Indigenous privilege that exists in our countries. We see one result of this in the low numbers of Indigenous doctors in our health system. The RACP has a core responsibility to work to grow the Indigenous physician workforce.
We also have a vital role to play ensuring the broader membership is educated and equipped with both clinical and cultural competencies required to serve the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Māori.