2009 AMA Indigenous Health Report Card - "The Health of Indigenous Males Building Capacity, Securing the Future"

10 Nov 2009

The AMA Indigenous Health Report Card 2009 collates the tragic facts of the health of Indigenous males, including:

  • An Indigenous boy born during 2005-2007 can expect to die at age 67, nearly six years earlier than an Indigenous girl, and 11.5 years earlier than a non-Indigenous boy born in the same period;
  • Between 2005 and 2007, Indigenous boys were 1.4 times more likely to die in the first year of their lives than Indigenous girls, and nearly twice as likely to die as other infants in the general population;
  • Between 2005 and 2007, Indigenous men died at higher rates than non-Indigenous men at all ages;
  • Cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) was the leading cause of preventable death among Indigenous men, and accounted for 27 per cent of deaths between 2002 and 2005;
  • Indigenous men had significantly higher levels of hospitalisation, at a standardised rate of 876 per 1,000 in 2007-08 compared with 358 per 1,000 for non-Indigenous males;
  • In 2004-06, Indigenous males were more than twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental health and behavioural disorders than non-Indigenous males;
  • In 2002, more than one-quarter of Indigenous males 15 years and over reported that they had been a victim of threatened or actual violence in the previous 12 months; and
  • The WA Aboriginal child health survey reported that 12 per cent of Indigenous males aged 12-17 years had thought about ending their lives in the previous 12 months, and four per cent had attempted to do so in this period.

The Report Card details AMA proposals to improve the health of Indigenous males through primary health care services and workforce, quality care in all Australian health services, local community capacity building, health promotion and chronic disease prevention, strategies to keep Indigenous males out of prison, a focus on social and emotional wellbeing, and promotion of economic engagement and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The "Good News and Best Practice 2009" insert to the Report Card also showcases success stories such as the Danila Dilba Men’s Clinic in Darwin, the ‘I’m an Aboriginal Dad’ support program (Vic), The Clontarf Foundation (WA), Panyappi Indigenous Youth Mentoring Program (SA), The Uncle Nephew Program, and Social Inclusion SA – Aboriginal Boys and Young Men’s Program.

The AMA acknowledges the assistance and input of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHO) and the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) in the production of this Report Card.

A detailed description of data relating to the health of Indigenous males is available at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfonet at http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/male_review