Department of Health and Aging to launch indigenous health site

Aims to address chronic disease among indegenous Australians

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) is to launch a new Web portal aimed at providing an improved resource for managing chronic disease in indigenous Australians.

The site works toward achieving a measure under the Federal Government’s November 2008 $805.5 million Indigenous Chronic Disease Package aimed at supporting and promoting individual primary health care workers in the mainstream and Indigenous sectors to prevent and manage chronic disease in indigenous Australians.

According to government documents, the site would benefit indigenous Australians through improving the diagnosis and management of people with chronic disease, reducing acute presentation and providing better continuity of care, and contributing to improvements in health outcomes.

For health service providers, the site will provide accessible, relevant and culturally appropriate information for the prevention, detection and management of chronic disease in Indigenous Australians.

According to the DoHA, indigenous Australians are disproportionately affected by chronic disease with a burden of disease two and a half times greater than the Australian population.

Higher mortality rates for many of the chronic diseases contribute to reduced life expectancy of 11.5 years for males and 9.7 years for females.

Chronic disease and associated risk factors contribute to two thirds of the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The site is expect to be launched in pilot in early June, 2010.

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