Evohealth / Optimising Health Equity: A Collaborative Approach to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Optimising Health Equity: A Collaborative Approach to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health


Australia is renowned for its advanced healthcare system, yet it does not serve all Australians equally. First Nations people encounter significant barriers in accessing crucial medications and vaccines, resulting in poorer health outcomes and diminished life expectancy. Ensuring that medicines and vaccines are readily available, affordable, and clearly understood is vital for maintaining health and preventing illness. This is a fundamental step towards achieving health equity and closing the gap in health disparities.


In November 2019, Evohealth facilitated an initial roundtable with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Life Sciences sector. This collaborative effort aimed to explore barriers and generate a range of solutions to help address challenges in accessing essential medicines and vaccines.

Building on the success of this initiative, Evohealth was privileged to again provide pro-bono support to NACCHO for a second roundtable in August 2023. This event brought together key stakeholders from across the Life Sciences sector with two primary objectives:
  1. Conceptualise and discuss future activities to better align new technologies and medicines with the strategic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  2. Identify opportunities to improve funded access to essential medicines, considering how drug development and clinical trials can support better health outcomes and determining options to overcome commercial barriers when a demonstrable need exists.
The agenda featured several inspirational presentations from NACCHO and collaborating organisations, highlighting the ongoing efforts to integrate clinical trials, genomics research, and clinical care for First Nations people. Additionally, initiatives targeting common infectious diseases were showcased, emphasising the importance of sustained and culturally appropriate healthcare interventions.


Participants noted that support for collaboration between the Life Sciences sector and NACCHO has increased significantly since the initial workshop. Multiple initiatives are now underway, reflecting a growing commitment to addressing the health inequities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These efforts are crucial for closing the gap and ensuring that all Australians can enjoy equal access to high-quality healthcare.

Further initiatives were developed at the roundtable, creating momentum for the work to continue to close the gap in health outcomes.

Through these collaborative efforts, Evohealth stands amongst participants, dedicated to making meaningful strides towards health equity, fostering an environment where innovative solutions can thrive and where the health and wellbeing of First Nations communities are prioritised.

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