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Indigenous populations differ in levels, patterns, and trends of
health. What is common is the unacceptably large differences between
the health of indigenous and non-indigenous populations in developed
nations. Durie recently outlined the explanations for these
disparities and proposed a broad spectrum of interventions to improve
the health of indigenous people. Within that spectrum, health
professionals can have a major role in contributing to dramatic
reductions in mortality and morbidity through high quality primary
healthcare services for prevention and early treatment.
The gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous populations
is estimated to be 19-21 years in Australia, 8 years in New Zealand,
5-7 years in Canada, and 4-5 years in the United States. These
continuing disparities in health are a matter of major concern, but
it is none the less important to recognize the substantial narrowing
of the gap in health between indigenous and non-indigenous people in
the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. In Australia the gap in
median age at death seems to have widened.
To read the full story from British Medical Journal, click here:
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