Time must be given for the “big images” to change. In particular, life expectancy is expected to be slow. It was not surprising that the new estimate of the life expectancy of Torres Strait Aborigines and Islanders showed slight absolute and relative increases in 2005-07 and 2010-12. This is because the estimate largely refers to the period leading up to national efforts to close the gap and related means that “touch the ground” and have consequences. He explains why national efforts and national partnership agreements have been and remain necessary. It is still too early to assess the impact of national efforts and the agreements themselves with such information. For all health expenditures in 2010-11, $1.47 per Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander was spent for every dollar spent per non-Aboriginal person. [100] This ratio (1.47) increased slightly from the 1.39 ratio in 2008-09 prior to the implementation of the national partnership agreements. [101] Taking into account the much greater health care needs resulting from the deteriorating health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (the Campaign Steering Committee generally estimates that this is at least double that), a relative lack of overall funding for the health of the Aboriginal and Islanders of Strait Torres is still evident.

Therefore, the budget cuts and possible cuts discussed above are a regrettable blow to national efforts to fill this gap. The new estimate shows that there are different expectations, precisely why national efforts to fill this gap and related national partnership agreements are needed. However, it is simply too early to assess the impact of these major new initiatives. The $1.57 billion COAG Partnership Agreement to fill the gap in Aboriginal health outcomes has contributed to the expansion of the ACCHS (although the Campaign Steering Committee wants a much larger extension through a renewed agreement). It has also supported programs that provide further evidence of creating a basis for significant health improvements over the next 16 years. The Campaign Steering Committee did not expect that, in the initial phase of national efforts to fill this gap – which began in July 2009 – there would quickly be a change in the years of health inequality. In this regard, it can be assumed that many of the deaths of Torres Strait Aborigines and Islanders in 2005-06 – 2010-2012 were the result of chronic diseases that occurred in the decades leading up to 2009. This is confirmed by the analysis of the mortality data mentioned above by the COAG Reform Council.

It was found for the five states overall, in 2011-12 the largest cause for Aboriginal and accidents of 26.3% it defines to include heart attacks and strokes. [65] There are similar “green shoots” that can be seen in maternal and child health data, which indicate the slowest but most safe improvements in generational health among Torres Strait Aborigines and Islanders. Many of these trends were evident prior to the launch of the National Partnership Agreement on July 2, 2009. [74] However, it is likely that national efforts to fill this gap will show an acceleration of these trends over time, as programs will have time to show up. This underscores the need to maintain funding and programs related to the child and maternal health programs that were implemented by the ACCHSs and which were extended in 2008 by COAG`s national partnership agreement on indigenous Early Childhood Development, with funding of $547 million through a five-year contract.