Are indigenous mortality gaps closing: How to tell, and when?
It is well known that the health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is considerably poorer than that of their non-Indigenous counterparts. Strategies, policies, programs and funding over many years have been targeted toward improving the health of Indigenous Australians and closing the gap in health status between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In this article, we review trends in key mortality rates for both populations and two complementary indices of the gap between them, both of which are essential to understanding progress or otherwise in closing the mortality gaps. Importantly, we also discuss the time required until the impact of policy changes can be assessed.