GML Media Release – National Close the Gap Day

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For immediate release                                                                        12.00pm Monday 17 March 2014

GML Supporting National Close the Gap Day

Gippsland Medicare Local (GML) this week highlights National Close the Gap Day on Thursday 20 March and urges the Gippsland community to show their support toward improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

More than 145,000 people came together in 2013 to support the Close the Gap campaign which aims to close the 17 year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-indigenous Australians.

Commenting on the 2014 campaign, GML Board Chair Dr Nola Maxfield, said there was still a lot of work to do in respect to improving access to primary healthcare services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

“Gippsland Medicare Local is working hard to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to engage with health professionals in the right way, time and place,” Dr Maxfield said.

“Working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and representative bodies is one of the critical factors in ensuring we secure better funding for our programs and help to connect our Aboriginal and Torres Islanders to quality primary health delivery in Gippsland.”

Dr Maxfield urged the Gippsland community to invest in a small activity such as a morning tea to mark the day and promote discussions with colleagues, family or friends.

“It is important that we as a community understand the factors that contribute to the state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and National Close the Gap Day is the opportunity to spark that conversation.”

Gippsland Medicare Local has encouraged local organisations to hold events to mark the day, provided funding for a health check day at Ramahyuck South Gippsland and resources to support the National Close the Gap activities in Baw Baw Shire.

Further information such as DVDs, short stories and resources for Close the Gap Day are available from https://www.oxfam.org.au/act/events/national-close-the-gap-day/

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