Thursday, August 12, 2004

AMA calls for extra health funding for Aborigines

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is asking for an extra $450 million a year to be spent on the health needs of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

The call comes in a report to be released today.

The study by Access Economics shows it would cost $400 million a year to meet the primary health care needs of Indigenous Australians alone.

AMA president Dr Bill Glasson says the life expectancy of Indigenous Australians is on a par with some developing countries and improvements are desperately needed.

"We have got a chasm of people dying young, dying of renal disease, heart disease, lung disease, a whole range of systemic diseases that are killing these people," he said.

The report recommends around 900 extra health professionals are needed to provide the services - at a cost of $36 million a year.

The AMA is also asking the Government for fully-funded training places to increase the proportion of Indigenous Australians working in health care.

By AMA 12 August 04


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