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Accessing HealthcareResponding to diversity$
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Judith Healy and Martin McKee

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198516187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198516187.001.0001

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‘On Our Terms’

‘On Our Terms’

The politics of Aboriginal health in Australia

(p.257) Chapter 14 ‘On Our Terms’
Accessing Healthcare

Judith Healy

Martin McKee

Oxford University Press

People of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent make up about 2.6% of the Australian population, but health outcomes for these groups remain abysmal. Aboriginal people live about twenty years less than the rest of the population despite living in a country that has one of the best health systems in the world. In delivering health care to its indigenous people, Australia has moved from a mainstream model to a multicultural approach, to parallel health services in geographic areas with large indigenous populations. Health policies are one part of a complex picture since the well-being of Aboriginal people also depends upon the wider societal context. While there is some consensus upon key principles, such as primary health care, holistic health, and community control, policies and strategies are highly contested among the loose coalition of Aboriginal activists.

Keywords:   Australia, Aboriginal health, indigenous health, multicultural approach, community control

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