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Indigenous health funding plan 'indefensible'

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 13 September 2004

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation say the Federal Government's offer of $40 million over four years for Indigenous health is morally indefensible.

The group's national president, Phil Glendenning, says an Australian Medical Association report shows $452 million is needed every year to address health problems.

He says a UN report shows Aboriginal people have the second-lowest standard of health in the world.

"The rates of Indigenous primary health are astoundingly poor," Mr Glendenning said.

"They rate up with similar situations for people living as peasants in rural China."

Mr Glendenning says the Federal Government's claim that it is spending record levels on Indigenous health is a lie.

"The proof is in the pudding," he said.

"Are Indigenous people's health rates improving under this Government?

No, they're going backwards.

"Are children's primary health care needs being met more efficiently under this Government? No, they're going backwards.

"Are the 28 people in need of a dialysis machine in Kununurra having their needs met at the moment? No, they're not, they're dying of kidney disease."

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