The tenth Closing the Gap report to be tabled in Parliament today is expected to show progress in the two health targets — to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031 and halve the child mortality (death) gap by 2018. But only the latter is on track.
The Indigenous death rate has dropped by 15% (from 1998-2015), but we’re not on track to meet the deadline. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer are responsible for the majority of this gap.
While death rates from heart and kidney disease have dropped among Indigenous people, death rates from cancer are on the rise, and the gap here is widening.