Reducing persistent health inequality

Our research is responding to persistent inequalities across the Australian health system.

Efforts to reduce inequalities across the Australian health system have not yielded equal advances for all groups as evidenced by:

  • Life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians shows that the gap has widened in child mortality, to more than double, while the life expectancy gap in adults has not changed since 2006
  • Healthcare usage and health outcomes in rural communities, particularly in relation to heart disease and cancer
  • The digitisation of health has left behind Australians with low levels of income, education, and employment, people aged over 65 years, people with disability, people living in rural areas and Indigenous Australians
  • A lack of transformational change at a health system level undermined by current silos of policy and practice across disparate clinical craft groups
  • Significant investment in biomedical advancements has benefited some parts of the population, but has not delivered better equity across the population
  • Now and into the future, health impacts of climate change will exacerbate existing health inequities among vulnerable populations such as people from low socio-economic status and people over 65

Our research contributes to the national response to these challenges by:

  • Making health outcomes fairer by creating opportunities to promote wellbeing in rural communities, Indigenous populations and with people with disabilities
  • Supporting continuous improvement in performance, safety and quality of health service delivery
  • Supporting decision-making for people with severe to profound intellectual disability
  • Supporting equal and meaningful civic participation for people with an intellectual disability
  • Ensuring that the perspectives of people with disability are the key driver of all our research and teaching activities
  • Understanding the needs of rural and remote Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with disabilities
  • Implementing health services to improve the translation of evidence into practice in regional areas
  • Partnerships with health services to understand and address the needs of vulnerable populations to climate change