Raising Aboriginal life expectancy to that of the general population is a key part of the federal government's "closing the gap" crusade -- but a report out this week shows little if any progress is being made.
Indigenous health experts are sceptical of the efforts being taken to close the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians -- currently 11.5 years for males and 9.7 for females -- and believe it could actually be widening. The ABS estimates that for indigenous males, life expectancy at birth is 67.2 years compared to 78.7 years for non-indigenous males. For indigenous females it's 72.9 years, compared to to 82.6 years. Indigenous mortality is falling at a slower rate than non-indigenous mortality.