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UN rates Indigenous health poorly

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 2 November 2004

The Australian Nursing Federation says the United Nations has rated Indigenous Australians as having the second worst quality of life in the world after China.

The results of the UN index are reported in the latest issue of the Australian Nursing Journal.

The index shows the life expectancy of Indigenous people is six to seven years less than the average in Canada and New Zealand.

The federation's Ged Cowin says in Australia that figure is about 20 years less.

"Australia actually has looked at this about 15 years ago and we have a very good plan," she said.

"It was called the National Aboriginal Health Strategy, which was developed in consultation with Aborigines, with health professionals right across the country, but for some reason it's gathering dust sitting on a shelf and nobody has had the impetus or will to really attempt to implement that strategy."

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