Let us move our focus to building health care relationships and partnerships that optimise care for every Indigenous patient

In 1978, the International Conference on Primary Health Care declared that “governments have a responsibility for the health of their people which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures.” In 2007, Closing the Gap was heralded by the Australian government as a shift in health policy for Indigenous Australians, proposing drastic action that would be measured against clear benchmarks. The flaw in this policy was the assumption that a homogenous approach, unaccompanied by deep, meaningful engagement with Indigenous people, communities, and health care services would be sufficient. Fourteen years later, the goal of closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous Australians by 2031 “is not on track”. In 2020, the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives into health care, and greater control of health‐related targets and programs by Indigenous‐led organisations promised change, despite risks, including peak Indigenous health care bodies being “held responsible for any future policy failings.”