Strengthening the link between policy formulation and implementation of Indigenous health policy directions.
This study aimed to understand the problems within the Indigenous health policy process in Australia and how weaknesses in the process impact on policy implementation. Using semi-structured questions, 23 key stakeholders in the policy-making process were interviewed. Three main themes dominated; a need for increased Indigenous involvement in policy formulation at the senior Australian Government level, increased participation of Indigenous community-controlled health organisations in the policy-making process and, most importantly, ensuring that policies have the necessary resources for their implementation. The emergence of these specific themes demonstrated weaknesses in policy process from the formulation stage onward. Tackling these would, according to our informants, significantly enhance the effectiveness of the policy process and contribute to further improvement of the health of Indigenous Australians.