Closing the Gap a Driving Force for Apunipima

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National Close the Gap Day is an important day in the calendar for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and as a Community Controlled healthcare provider in Cape York communities, Apunipima used the occasion to highlight the challenges faced in Closing the Gap.

This year’s Close The Gap Campaign Report called for an urgent need for funding to support Indigenous community-led health services, a move supported by Apunipima as the leading Community Controlled Health Service in the Cape York region.

Apunipima’s CEO, Debra Malthouse, spoke about the inequality in health outcomes for First Nations People, but says the organisation’s workforce are continually driven towards Closing the Gap.

“Our staff see firsthand, the inequities that exists in Cape York communities. While we do what we can, the National Close The Gap Campaign helps draw attention to the barriers, disadvantages and challenges our mob face in their everyday lives,” Malthouse said.

“We are more likely to suffer from preventable chronic disease and die younger than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she said.

While Malthouse supported the findings of the report released today and the call for trust and funding in community-based healthcare, she stated there is a long way to go.

“While there is evidence that the Gap is closing, it’s not closing fast enough for people in their 40s, 50s and 60s. We can all tell stories about how these inequities affect our own lives and those of our families – as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, none of us are immune.

Malthouse said the work which Apunipima performs is driven out of the necessity to provide better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in Cape York.

“The better funded and targeted programs outlined in the Close The Gap Campaign Report are needed if we are serious about driving real change in wellbeing for communities.”

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