First Nations Health Equity
Making Tracks Together - Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Framework
Placing First Nations peoples and voices at the centre of healthcare service design and delivery in Queensland.
Queensland Health and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) are placing First Nations peoples and voices at the centre of healthcare service design and delivery through Making Tracks Together - Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Framework.
Making Tracks Together was released to support Hospital and Health Services develop and implement Health Equity Strategies. The strategies outline the actions each Hospital and Health Services will deliver to achieve health equity, actively eliminate racial discrimination and institutional racism, and influence the social, cultural and economic determinants of health by working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, health services, communities, consumers and Traditional Owners.
The voices, leadership and lived experiences of First Nations peoples are driving the health equity reform agenda.
A cornerstone of the First Nations health equity agenda is the legislative requirement passed by the Queensland Parliament in 2020 and 2021 for Hospital and Health Services to co-develop and co-implement Health Equity Strategies. For the first time a commitment to working in partnership with prescribed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders is embedded in the legal framework guiding the public health system in Queensland to:
- achieve health equity and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander outcomes
- eliminate institutional racism and racial discrimination from the public health sector, and
- strengthen decision-making and power sharing arrangements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Amendments to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 and the Hospital and Health Boards Regulation 2012 have created the strongest public health system legislation ever enacted in Queensland Health's history by requiring Hospital and Health Services to partner with Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations to design, deliver and monitor the delivery of healthcare in Queensland.
Health Equity Strategies
All 16 Hospital and Health Services across Queensland have published their inaugural Health Equity Strategy, and commenced their initial three-year implementation cycle:
- Metro North HHS (released 4 July 2022)
- Children's Health Queensland HHS (released 12 July 2022; implementation plan released 28 February 2023)
- Cairns and Hinterland HHS (released July 2022; implementation plan released 22 March 2023)
- Gold Coast HHS (released 12 August 2022)
- Mackay HHS (released 6 September 2022)
- Metro South HHS (released 21 September 2022)
- Sunshine Coast HHS (released 26 September 2022; implementation plan released 20 January 2023)
- South West HHS (released 28 September 2022)
- Darling Downs HHS (released 30 September 2022)
- Townsville HHS (released 30 September 2022)
- North West HHS (released 30 September 2022)
- Wide Bay HHS (released 30 September 2022)
- West Moreton HHS (released 30 September 2022)
- Central West HHS (released 2 November 2022)
- Torres and Cape HHS (released 16 December 2022)
- Central Queensland HHS (released 9 February 2023).
Each Hospital and Health Service is aiming to release their accompanying Health Equity Strategy Implementation Plans no later than six months after their Health Equity Strategy has been publicly released. The implementation plans will outline how the strategic objectives in their Health Equity Strategy will be translated into action and the key performance measures to track progress towards achieving heath equity with First Nations people. Annual public reports will be released every year about the progress made against the key performance measures.
- Amendment Regulation - Hospital and Health Boards (Health Equity Strategies) Amendment Regulation 2021
- Health Service Directive - First Nations Health Equity Strategy: Co-design and Mediation Process Health Service Directive
- Explanatory Notes – Hospital and Health Boards (Health Equity Strategies) AR 2021 - Explanatory Notes
- Health Equity Framework - Making Tracks Together - Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Framework (PDF 7199 kB)
- Health Equity Strategies Implementation Toolkit (PDF 3983 kB)
- Health equity strategy template (PDF 871 kB)
- Health Equity Consultation Report - Queensland’s First Nations Health Equity Consultation Report (PDF 3367 kB)
- Health Equity Discussion Paper
- 2017 report into institutional racism across the public health system - Addressing Institutional Barriers to Health Equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland’s Public Hospital and Health Services
Launch of Making Tracks Together - a new approach to planning and delivering healthcare in Queensland
Making Tracks Together was co-launched by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, the Hon Yvette D’Ath, and the Chairperson of QAIHC, Matthew Cooke, on 26 October 2021.
The keynote speeches from the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, the QAIHC Chairperson and the Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General are available below.