Media releases

Getting Closing the Gap back on track

Feb 08, 2018

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) as a member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee supports the steps outlined in its Ten-Year Review, released this morning at its parliamentary breakfast.

The review comes just days ahead of the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap Report, which will be tabled next Monday 12 February.  

Six key recommendations were put forward as part of its Ten-Year Review of the 2008 COAG Close the Gap Strategy, which aims to reach life expectancy equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by 2030.

The recommendations included: a collaborative national approach, addressing the funding gap, and bringing more focus to root causes of health disadvantage, such as access to quality housing, food, water, and addressing the social determinants of health. The review also highlights that access to strong, culturally appropriate primary care is a key preventive factor.

Dr Michael Beckoff, College Board Member, said the review is a wake-up call: “If targets are to be met and equality of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples achieved, renewed efforts are required.

“Health inequality hasn’t gone away; it has in fact worsened in the ten years with the mortality and life expectancy gap widening, since the Close the Gap Strategy was produced.

“The College has an important role to play. Caring for Indigenous peoples is core business for our members.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people typically comprise a major part of rural and remote practice communities, and our remote doctor members care for some of the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. 

“We take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to actively work through our programs and member services toward better health and well-being for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”


Dr Mike Beckoff, acting ACRRM President


Rachelle Forbes

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

07 3105 8211

0432 275 926

Keep up to date with the College stance on issues affecting rural and remote doctors and their communities.

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For further information or comment, please contact Rachelle Forbes on 07 3105 8200.