The federal government will commit $27 million towards tackling the high rates of Indigenous infant illness and mortality.
The minister for Indigenous health Ken Wyatt said the $27 million would be invested over the next 18 months.
Health services delivering the program will use the money to ensure Indigenous children are properly immunised, and that Indigenous mothers have better access to antenatal and postnatal services.
“These targeted grants will help improve the health and life expectancy, as well as early childhood health and development, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through better access to effective and high quality health services,” Wyatt said in a statement.
“The health providers will be delivering services in culturally appropriate ways."
Indigenous children are more likely to be admitted to hospital, and are at a higher risk of dying from infections, than non-indigenous children.
The ninth Closing the Gap report, delivered earlier this month, showed that targets set by the Council of Australian Governments to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five by 2018 were not on track to be met.
A report published in the Australian Medical Journal found that from 2002 to 2013 the rate of Indigenous children admitted to intensive care units nationally for infectious diseases was three times higher than for non-indigenous children.