A report on Aboriginal health by the
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs
(HRSCAA) in 1979 suggested that the ‘standard of health of Aborigines
was still far lower than the majority of Australians’ and that ‘little
progress had been made in raising it’47.
The HRSCAA argued that one reason for the lack of progress had been
insufficient attention to the ‘physical environmental’ conditions in
which Aboriginal people lived as a determinant of health status, but
also insufficient attention to ‘social’ and ‘cultural’ factors relating
to Aboriginal health48.
The HRSCAA was critical of the States in relation to the funding of the
Aboriginal health units within their health departments. It argued that
the States had not accepted any ‘financial responsibility for improving
the health of Aboriginals as citizens of the State’49.

An internal Commonwealth Government report, the Program
Effectiveness Review
(20), was never
officially released to the public but considered, among other
things, the issue of Indigenous involvement in Indigenous
health policy development, the introduction of specific Indigenous
health initiatives and the existing arrangements for funding
and administration of Indigenous health