Core 1 – Health priorities in Australia – ‘Groups experiencing health inequalities’
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples:
1) Describe the nature and extent of the health inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Health inequity occurs when individuals or communities experience relatively high levels of a disease, or other health issue, due to circumstances which are quite often beyond their control. For example, some groups have shorter life expectancies, poor access to health services, higher levels of avoidable risk factors and/or reduced ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. Inequities refer to situations or actions that lack fairness or justice. Inequities refer to social or economic differences between people or groups.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a lower life expectancy than non-indigenous Australians. Indigenous males live 18.7 years less than non-indigenous males whilst females live 18.2 years less than non-indigenous females. Infant mortality is also four times the national average. Indigenous people experience higher morbidity rates for cardiovascular disease, cancer motor vehicle accidents, suicide, respiratory diseases, eye and ear diseases, and nutritional diseases such as diabetes.
Compared to non-indigenous females and males, indigenous females and males are, respectively, four and five times as likely to die from avoidable causes. Indigenous people are five times more likely to die from heart attack, twice as likely to die from cancer, 18 times as likely to die from suicide as non-indigenous people. Indigenous death rates are 8.8 times as high as non-indigenous death rates for diabetes, 5.7 times as high for cervical cancer, 4.2 times as high for kidney diseases and 3.3 times as high for digestive diseases.
The indigenous Australian life expectancy is approximately 10 years less than the overall Australian life expectancy. Death rates for indigenous...