Closing the Gap in Inner North West Melbourne

22 October 2013 | General Interest

Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local (INWMML) has released a report into the issues impacting the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in our region.

Closing the Gap in Inner North West Melbourne presents findings from our health needs assessment of Aboriginal people living in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Melbourne, Moonee Valley, Moreland and Yarra.

The comprehensive assessment found that the Aboriginal population living in Melbourne’s inner north west region is unique in that that individuals are slightly older, more likely to be employed, earn a higher income and are more likely to hold an education qualification that the average for Aboriginal people living across Victoria.

Associate Professor Christopher Carter, Chief Executive Officer of INWMML, explains that despite these encouraging findings, there is still a significant gap between the health status of Victoria’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations.

“While there is limited data available at the LGA level, our report has found significant inequalities between Aboriginal Victorians and non-Aboriginal Victorians on almost every health and wellbeing indicator. Where data was available at the local level, it clearly suggests that these inequalities are replicated in the inner north west region of Melbourne.”

These inequalities include: 

  • High rates of cancer and lower survival rates for Aboriginal people with cancer
  • Notably higher psychological distress, use of mental health services and doctor diagnosed depression/anxiety
  • Very high rates of disability
  • Very high rates of sexually transmissible infections
  • Lower levels of social and emotional wellbeing.

INWMML is working to address these issues on a number of fronts, such as through the delivery of a Care Coordination and Supplementary Service (CCSS) program. The program has two main components. The first involves one-on-one support to assist Aboriginal people with chronic disease. The second component provides a flexible pool of funds that can be used to assist Aboriginal patients to access medical specialists and allied health services.

INWMML will be guided by the gap analysis and priorities identified in the report to prioritise actions and plan future activities to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in our region.

  Download a full copy of Closing the Gap in Inner North West Melbourne.

Acknowledgement: INWMML acknowledges the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.